Disability Benefits and Social Care

Part of Opposition Day — [2nd Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 1:59 pm on 20th June 2012.

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Photo of Maria Miller Maria Miller The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 1:59 pm, 20th June 2012

As Mr Byrne seems to be rather hazily acquainted with some of the facts and the reality of his time as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, perhaps I may take some time to recount to him some of the facts, in particular that spending on disability living allowance increased by 40% between 1998 and 2010 and that the welfare bill rocketed by the same amount? Indeed, in a decade of unprecedented growth and rising employment, improvements in the life chances of disabled people were, sadly, few and far between.

Members do not have to take my word for that. Jon Cruddas has said:

“We need to address some home truths about the Labour government’s welfare changes…they have seriously eroded the protection of disabled people...The methodologies that underpinned much of our argument are questionable.”

Those are telling words. Labour’s something-for-nothing culture was more than just their Government borrowing money they did not have. They failed to tackle welfare reform. That has corroded people’s trust in the system, and it is disabled people who are left to deal with the fall-out.