I was pleased to get the chance to introduce a debate in parliament (in Westminster Hall) on ‘changes in funding to support disabled people’.
I am very grateful to constituents and organisations who got in touch to raise their concerns that helped shape my contribution.
The debate gave me the chance to raise concerns about Government policy affecting thousands of constituents including:
3,600 working age disabled people who face the abolition of the help they receive under Disability Living Allowance;
5,630 local disabled people receiving Employment and Support Allowance who face a time limit on support however long their health condition (eg cancer) lasts as well as now facing a 30% cut in their financial help under new and further Government cuts;
the drop in percentage of working age disabled people in employment and measures the Government have introduced that have reduced support to get and keep jobs including a 20% cut in Disability Employment Advisors;
the almost £1 billion disabled people will have forked out in Bedroom Tax payments by the time that coalition policy (which my Lib Dem predecessor voted for eight times) reaches its 3rd anniversary; and
the rise in people with mental health conditions presenting at local hospital A&Es in crisis due to other service and benefit cuts.
It was useful to push the Department for Work and Pensions Minister on these issues and try to press for better policies from a Government that too often seems to make decisions without sufficient grasp of their impact – and which fails to prioritise tax collection, instead simply targeting some of our more disadvantaged friends and neighbours for further reductions in support.
The full transcript of the debate is available here and the parliamentary video of the debate is below.