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DISABILITY campaigners have branded the government’s new strategy to tackle loneliness “pure hypocrisy” in light of years of Tory cuts to social care.
The Tories yesterday appointed Chatham and Aylesford MP Tracey Crouch as the new “minister for loneliness,” to help tackle an issue affecting around nine million people, young and old, in Britain.
The role is part of The Commission on Loneliness project which was first set up by the late Labour MP Jo Cox before she was murdered in 2016.
However Linda Burnip, co-founder of Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), said the appointment stank of hypocrisy as the government has driven many people with disabilities into isolation due to cuts.
She told the Star: “How can they turn around and say that when disabled people are stuck in their homes, unable to see their friends or family, purely due to Tory policies? It’s so hypocritical of them!”
Cuts to disability benefits including the closure of the Independent Living Fund in 2015 resulted in many people with disabilities having their means of mobility including cars taken away from them.
Mr Burnip pointed out that the way to help tackle loneliness among people with disabilities would be to reverse social care cuts made since 2010.
Research by disability charity Scope found that up to 85 per cent of young disabled adults feel lonely.
Under recommendations from the Commission on Loneliness, the Office for National Statistics will devise a method of measuring loneliness and a fund will be set up for the government and charities to find ways to address the problem across all ages, backgrounds and communities.
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