Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:09 pm on 17th November 2016.

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Photo of Neil Gray Neil Gray Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Fair Work and Employment) 12:09 pm, 17th November 2016

Thank you, Mr Speaker. I am disappointed in the hon. Gentleman. He knows well that ESA has not been devolved, and it is not in the Scottish Government’s competence. I genuinely believe that there is a feeling on the Conservative Benches that the Government can change their mind and that there are workings under way to make that happen, so his pessimism about where the Government might be going is, I hope, unfounded.

Parkinson’s UK points out that the Government’s statutory obligations may not have been met, leaving them open to further legal challenge.

In conclusion, I want today to be a time for reflection for the Government. I want them to reflect on whether they truly believe that people such as John will benefit from this cut without a replacement support system being in place. I want them to listen to those 74 disability charities and other organisations, and to right hon. and hon. Members on both sides of the House, and I want them to pause these cuts, at least until they have delivered what they promised would be a better system. Everyone has needs, and it is important that those needs are met. I hope those are the words ringing in the ears of Ministers today.