Government must think again on cuts for disabled students

I am very concerned that the Government has not yet completed an equality analysis on its plans to cut Disabled Student Allowances (DSA). This was revealed in the Minister’s answer to my written parliamentary question (June 11th):

Mrs Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what impact assessments he carried out on proposals to change disabled students’ allowances.

Mr Willetts: The proposed changes to disabled students’ allowances will be subject to an equality analysis, which will consider their impact in relation to protected characteristics. Extensive discussions are under way with a wide range of stakeholders to help inform this.

I will consider a final version of the equality analysis before any final decisions are made and regulations are laid before the House.

Higher education students can apply for Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) if they have a:

  • disability
  • long-term health condition
  • mental health condition
  • specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia

I have also signed David Blunkett’s Early Day Motion (EDM 48) on this issue.

I have made representations to the Minister. This deserves a major rethink. The government must think again.

No decision must be taken before the equality impact is published and debated!