Over sixty percent of the public say that cuts will lead to disabled people being the subject of public anger, a poll by Ipsos MORI for Mencap finds.
What's more, 49% say disabled people will be more vulnerable to hate crime attacks.
As this is a poll of the public, not disabled people, it's difficult to know if this is merely a fear or a statement of intent.
Of course, it takes more than just cuts to draw people's crosshairs of hate towards disabled people. Mark Goldring. chief executive of Mencap, makes the point: "Generally, there has been a disproportionate focus on the very few people who have defrauded the system rather than those who need state support like Disability Living Allowance (DLA) in order to participate in society. The Department of Work and Pensions' own figures show a fraud rate of 0.5 per cent for Disability Living Allowance."
However, I worry the subtleties of this statistical argument may be lost of the baying mob that his pollsters have tracked down.
However, the question that caught my eye was this:
An example here is the Disability Living Allowance - sometimes referred to as
DLA - which is a tax-free benefit for children and adults who need help with
personal care or have walking difficulties because they are physically or mentally
From what you may have heard about people who claim disability benefits from
the UK Government, which of the following, if any, comes closest to YOUR view?
3% of te public would agree that all DLA claimants are genuinely disabled, 36% would agree that most DLA claimants are genuine, 5% don't know, and only 3% think that most claims are bogus. The 36% figure for those who would agree that most claims are genuine seems heartening. But a question mark lies over the 52% who agree that some claimants are genuine, some are bogus.
I am unsure whether this means that these people are open to argument, and it is up to us to sway them with the fact that DLA fraud runs at 0.5%? What do you think?