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Disabled woman poses naked on beach

Welfare Reform Bill targeted - on New Brighton sands

Published on March 9th 2011.

Disabled woman poses naked on beach

A YOUNG disabled woman from New Brighton has posed lying naked on a beach - to demonstrate the consequences of the “deep and damaging” cuts to disabled services proposed in the controversial Welfare Reform Bill.

If I lose my DLA I will lose my flat. I would have no choice but to go to my local authority for housing and so I would then lose the help of my neighbours

Kaliya Franklin was snapped on the freezing Mersey sands, with her wheelchair next to her, as part of the Left Out In The Cold campaign, organised by disability rights group The Broken of Britain.

It aims to illustrate the difficulties faced by disabled people if the Bill – which has its second reading in Parliament on Wednesday – is passed.

“The Bill disguises cuts and changes to a number of benefits, from Housing Benefit to Income Support that will punish disabled people.”

Kaliya, a founder and director of the group, is the tenant of a private landlord who has modified her flat for her. In a real example of “Big Society”, she also enjoys the support of residents in the local community who assist her in her day-to-day living.

Yet, that could all be about to change. She told Liverpool Confidential: “If I lose my DLA I will lose my flat. I would have no choice but to go to my local authority for housing and so I would then lose the help of my neighbours.”

David Cameron and Iain Duncan Smith introduced the Bill to Parliament last month, and plan to scrap Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and replace it with what critics have described as the "patronisingly-named" Personal Independence Payment.

People claiming for the new payment will undergo an assessment that Broken of Britain claim will use “unfair conditions to disqualify 20 per cent of the current DLA caseload.”

The coalition claims the bill will save the country £3.9bn by 2014-15, an astonishing £2.5bn of that is to come from cuts to disability benefits.

Kaliya said: “I was absolutely frozen when I took my clothes off for the shoot – but it was nothing like as cold I and other disabled people will be if the Government removes our essential benefits.

“It’s vital that every able-bodied person remembers they are just an accident or illness away from being disabled themselves."

She added: Many people think if they do become disabled that the state will look after them, but the fact is that even under current provisions, disability benefits are not enough for disabled people to live on. If the Welfare Reform Bill is passed, the situation will become unimaginably worse.”

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