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Sir Bob Russell MP supports blind man over benefit changes
2:15pm Monday 17th September 2012 in News
A BLIND man has hit out at the way benefits changes could leave him hundreds of pounds out of pocket.
Phil Lee, of Brisbane Way, Colchester, currently receives Disability Benefit Allowance, which he says allows him to live an ordinary life.
But sweeping changes by the Government next year will see it removed and the Personal Independent Payment brought in instead.
Mr Lee, 55, said the change will lead to him losing around £285 a month in personal expenses he claims.
The change was highlighted by Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell on Friday after he took part in a blind walk around Colchester town centre.
Mr Lee said: “I will lose my independence as a disabled person.
“The allowance enables me to go out and effectively have a choice. By changing the benefit it will take away my choice.
“It helps me with equipment I need and extra costs I have for being a visually impaired person.
“Everything you take for granted in your normal life we have to think about how we are going to do that.”
Mr Lee said the payment does not recognise a wide range of additional costs blind and partially sighted people face when living independently.
Sir Bob walked around the town centre in a blindfold, with someone guiding him, to draw attention to the change.