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Redbridge charity and Ilford MP criticise ‘soul-destroying’ welfare cuts

PUBLISHED: 10:58 16 March 2016 | UPDATED: 10:58 16 March 2016

Jon Abrams, from Redbridge Disability Consortium

Jon Abrams, from Redbridge Disability Consortium

Archant

A disability charity has criticised the government for overruling the House of Lords and cutting employment support allowance (ESA) for some disabled people by £30 a month.

Earlier this month, the Recorder reported how charities hoped the Lords’ refusal to pass the welfare reform bill would make the government rethink its plans.

However, after granting the bill “financial privilege”, the Commons can now force through the controversial legislation, which would cut the benefits of people deemed capable of work-related activity in an attempt to incentivise them to find work.

Jon Abrams, from Redbridge Disability Consortium, said: “It is very disappointing that because of the government’s decision some sick and disabled people will now be more than £1500 a year worse off.

“Our view is that doing that doesn’t make them any closer to the labour market, because they still have to face the stigma and poor work practices that make it very difficult for disabled people to hold down a job.”

And labour MP for Ilford North Wes Streeting, who praised the Lords for upholding the interests of disabled people, was similarly disappointed.

He said: “It’s soul destroying that even after really careful, measured criticisms from the House of Lords about the needs of disabled people and the support ESA provides the government is refusing to listen.”


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