Attn: local news desk

For immediate release: Wednesday 1 March 2017

SALMOND: PARLIAMENT MUST HAVE A SAY ON “YET ANOTHER CUT” TO DISABILITY BENEFITS

THE UK GOVERNMENT HAS FAILED TO STAND BY ITS COMMITMENT TO MAKING NO FURTHER DISABILITY CUTS IN THIS PARLIAMENT

MP for Gordon, Alex Salmond, has called on the UK government to ensure that its plans to cut Personal Independence Payments are debated in Parliament to allow MPs to fully scrutinise the proposals.

The UK government announced emergency legislation to change Personal Independence Payments (PIPs) - which are designed to help people cope with the additional costs of living with ill health or a disability - after two tribunal rulings at the end of last year which the UK government claimed would widen the criteria for PIP and cost billions.

On Sunday, Tory MP and head of the Number 10 Policy Unit George Freeman drew criticism from disability organisations when he said the changes would ensure that benefits went to people who are “really disabled” rather than people “who suffer from anxiety”.

Commenting, Mr Salmond said:

“These regulations are yet another axe on future support for disabled people and should be scrapped. It will prevent disabled people from having access to vital financial assistance and it sends a very dangerous message to the public that people suffering from mental health conditions are less worthy of support than those with physical disabilities.

“It is essential that the UK Government clarifies what this means for the future disabled people who are in need of PIP support. MPs must also be given the opportunity to debate and fully scrutinise these cuts in Parliament.  

“It is quite obvious that this emergency legislation is about trying to make savings at any cost. The UK Government has failed to stand by its commitment to making no further disability cuts in this Parliament and has also failed to think about the most important element involved: the people whose lives will be affected.”

ENDS

Mr Salmond outside Parliament with the Disability Benefit’s Consortium protesting against the changes to PIPs

Mr Salmond outside Parliament with the Disability Benefit’s Consortium protesting against the changes to PIPs