Leonard Cheshire reacts to benefits ‘clampdown’

Disability charity Leonard Cheshire is finalising a campaign to transform perceptions of incapacity benefit among the media and politicians.

The charity wants to ensure that recipients are seen as entitled receivers of the benefit and not a ‘spending drain’ used to mask joblessness.

The move follows a decision by the Government to limit the time people can claim incapacity benefit to six months.

The decision was portrayed in the media as a crackdown on the abuse of incapacity benefit, which has suffered a bad press since the National Audit Office claimed there was not enough evidence to support payment to some claimants.

Leonard Cheshire plans to lobby MPs to sign an Early Day Motion (EDM) that calls on parties to ‘stop using disabled people as a political football’ and to rule out extra barriers for new claimants.

‘If we can present politicians and opinion formers with the facts on incapacity benefit then we believe we can persuade people that it is an entitlement that disabled people need and deserve,’ said Leonard Cheshire media and PR officer Guy Parckar.

MPs who sign the EDM will be sent press releases. The charity plans to target large regional newspapers with details of MPs in the area who are backing the campaign.

It hopes to generate interest in the campaign among the disability and social care press in a bid to persuade voters to write to their MP in support of the initiative.

Parliamentary, business and employment press will also be targeted by the campaign.

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