MP attacks cuts hitting disabled people
Reporter: IRAM RAMZAN
Date published: 08 March 2016
Oldham MP Debbie Abrahams is demanding impact assessments before cuts are made to disabled people’s benefits.
Mrs Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth and Shadow Minister for Disabled People, is leading Labour’s demands that the Government should rethink its stance on cuts to Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and carry out proper assessments of the effect they will have on claimants.
The cuts will affect those claiming ESA who are in a “work-related activity” group - people whose condition is accepted will limit their ability to work now, but who could work in the future.
Launching Labour’s opposition to cuts, Mrs Abrahams told the House of Commons: “The Government’s predilection for focusing on worklessness, when two thirds of children living in poverty are from working families, reveals exactly where they are coming from. It is about hammering the poor, whether they are in work or not.
“The net effect of tax and social security changes will increase the proportion of children in relative poverty by eight percentage points, and those in absolute poverty by three percentage points, by 2020.
“That means that one in four, 2.6 million, of our children will live in poverty.”
The Government wants to cut ESA, meaning disabled people will lose £30 per week, their benefit falling from £102.15 to £73.10 - the same as Jobseeker’s Allowance.
Following the debate, Mrs Abrahams, said: “There has been no assessment by the Government of the impacts this cut will have on the number of disabled people pushed into poverty, or the effects on their health condition or disability. The Government needs to stop its attacks on disabled people.”