Over 17,000 people found to have lost Motability benefit

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Over 17,000 disabled people are reported to have lost their funding for cars, electric wheelchairs and scooters as a result of government welfare reform since 2014.

The numbers of those affected has recently been confirmed by Motability, the charity that helps people who have difficulty getting around due to disability.

The change began when the Conservative-Liberal Democrat government began phasing out Disability Living Allowance in 2013, which took away tax-free benefits from those who needed help with mobility. Rather than a living allowance, it was replaced by a points system which took into account the seriousness of an individual's disability or illness and gave allowances based on this.

Motability has warned that the cuts could affect many of its 650,000 customers, saying that even more people who are in need of help could lose their allowances.

The charity has already spent £20 million attempting to help those affected by the cuts, which included giving out £2,000 grants to people.

Owen Smit, Labour's shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, told The Times: "On the same day the Tories were forced into a climbdown over Personal Independence Payments, these figures further illuminate the true impact of their cutbacks.

"The Motability scheme is a lifeline for huge numbers of people and reductions have resulted in that vital support being stripped away, which has often forced people out of work.

"This is particularly galling given that cuts to the work-related employment and support allowance group were forced through parliament just weeks ago, removing £1,500 of support."