The Tories are trying to overturn a court ruling so that they can deny 160,000 disabled people the support they need (known as Personal Independence Payments - PIP) to live independently.
PIP helps chronically sick and disabled people fund their living costs and, in particular, the additional financial costs faced by disabled people.
Disability charity Scope has estimated that these additional costs amount to approximately £550 a month. Disabled people are twice as likely to live in poverty as non-disabled people as a result of these additional costs, and PIP is a key source of income to prevent real hardship. Currently 600,000 disabled people are in receipt of the payment.
Two tribunals have ruled that the Government should expand the reach of PIP. Instead of listening to the court’s criticisms of PIP assessments, the Government has decided to undermine the legal basis of the rulings by stopping the change going ahead.
Commenting on the Government's attempt to undermine the court ruling, Clive Efford said:
“Instead of listening to the court’s criticisms of Personal Independence Payment assessments and correcting these injustices, the Government has instead decided to undermine the legal basis of the rulings.
“1,388 people are on PIP in Eltham. The Tories are failing to give support to those who need it most. They must ensure that all assessments are undertaken fairly and by appropriately trained specialist staff. The tribunal decision show how the PIP assessment process is just not fit for purpose.
“By shifting the goal posts, the Tory Government will exclude over 164,000 disabled people from PIP support, risking them falling into debt and increasing their isolation.
“This is a step too far, even for this Tory Government.
"I will not stand by as this Government makes further draconian cuts to disability benefits. Enough is enough."