Disability Benefits and Social Care

Part of Opposition Day — [2nd Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 1:27 pm on 20th June 2012.

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Photo of Liam Byrne Liam Byrne Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 1:27 pm, 20th June 2012

The Labour Government introduced some of the biggest reforms of the welfare system that we have ever seen in this country. That is why Lord Freud, in his review of the changes that we had made, said that the progress that had been made was “remarkable”. The hon. Gentleman would do well to study his remarks.

I want to return to the point about who is to pay the bill for this Government’s failure. Every Chancellor, every Cabinet and every Government have to make a decision on how the load is to be carried. The point at the heart of this debate is that this Government have decided that much of the load must be carried by Britain’s disabled people. New research from the House of Commons Library, which I am publishing today, shows that over the course of this Parliament, disabled people in our country will pay more than Britain’s bankers. Indeed, in the final year of the Parliament, disabled people will be paying 40% more than the banks. That tells us everything we need to know about this Government’s values.

The House should be grateful to Carers UK, and to the eight carers week charities, for the service they have done us by setting out the combined impact of these decisions. Their conclusion is blunt:

“It is a scandal that the UK’s carers are being let down in this way.”

The situation that confronts us is not going to get better; it is going to get worse. Scope reminds us that universal credit—if it is ever introduced—will hit disabled people 30% harder than non-disabled households, and that the halving of support for disabled children will cut £1,300 from their families. The Government’s arbitrary 20% cut to disability living allowance risks plunging 500,000 families into a financial black hole.

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Clive Arnold
Posted on 21 Jun 2012 10:40 am (Report this annotation)

Byrne chose to ignore carers when Minister for Care Services. His attempts to show he now cares is an insult to carers everywhere. And Carers UK does not speak for all carers, they certainly do not speak for me, and as a carer it's patronising to regard us as charity cases!