Blind man from Gosport joins in march against welfare reforms

Chancellor Philip Hammond holding his red ministerial box outside 11 Downing Street, London, before heading to the House of Commons to deliver his Budget

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A BLIND man joined thousands of others to march against the government’s welfare reforms.

Jim Morey, 41, from Gosport took part in the ‘Hardest Hit’ march in London.

Teaming up with national sight loss charity Action for Blind People, Jim joined thousands of disabled people, their friends and their families to raise awareness of how the cuts will affect them.

Jim is employed as a highways land asset officer but is about to be made redundant from his job in local government as a result of government spending cuts.

He said: ‘Government cutbacks have decimated my entire industry, both public and private sector, and there are no alternative jobs around. Action for Blind People is helping me prepare for any future work opportunities, but I fear for my future.

‘My deteriorating eyesight means I can’t be considered for jobs which involve driving, using machinery or in many cases, using a computer.

‘I receive the lowest rate DLA, but otherwise fall just below the criteria for the automatic upgrade in the mobility level.

‘Ideally, I would like to go back to college and do a masters degree in order to improve my chances of getting a job in future. But as things stand, I cannot afford to study full-time this year.

‘The government cap on tuition fees will be raised next year. Although the government will be providing an improved student finance package for undergraduates, there will be no extra help for postgraduates.

‘After an adult life and career where I kept my head down and got on with things without asking for any help, I am now really unhappy to find that government assistance is being removed at the time when I most need it.’