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Welfare Reform and Work Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 8:38 pm on 20th July 2015.

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Photo of Natalie McGarry Natalie McGarry Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Disabilities) 8:38 pm, 20th July 2015

I thank my hon. Friend for that very well-made point.

According to the House of Commons Library, in November last year 492,000 claimants fell within the employment and support allowance work-related activity group—people assessed as being capable of undertaking some work, almost 250,000 of whom are classified by the Government as suffering from mental and behavioural disorders. Under the Bill, these people will see their payments slashed, at a saving to the Exchequer of £640 million a year by 2020. Affected claimants will receive up to £1,500 a year less than under current rules. A recent study by Scope found that disabled people spend an average of £550 more in disability-related expenses than non-disabled members of the population. These are not extravagances, they are not luxuries, and they are certainly not lifestyle choices.