But even though the economy is growing, the government still announced a cap on welfare spending that could have serious implications for blind and partially sighted people.
A cap on blindness?
The Autumn Statement announced an arbitrary cap on the social security support for blind, partially sighted and other disabled people. We believe social security support for blind and partially sighted people must be determined by need, based on the number of people needing help not on an arbitrarily fixed number.
Changing UK demographics mean more disabled children survive into adulthood and growing numbers of older people experiencing impairments and health conditions, including age-related macular degeneration.
The statement also announced that local government are exempt from a further £3b cut in government spending. It's vital that Local Government is given all the support it needs to ensure that the Care Bill going through parliament delivers the support that blind and partially sighted people need. 43 per cent of blind and partially sighted people have lost access to social care whilst overall support has fallen by 25 per cent.
Our reactionSteve Winyard, our Head of Policy and Campaigns, has responded publicly saying, "To cap the total amount of support available means the Government will have to cut help for blind and partially sighted people. Or the Government will need to find some way of capping the total number of people seeking help. The Government cannot cap blindness but has a duty to ensure support is available to people with genuine needs."
Steve added: "Blind and partially sighted people fear further cuts in help. Plans to cap support for disadvantaged disabled people need examining very carefully to ensure genuine needs do not go unmet."