Edinburgh West MP, Christine Jardine, lent her support to 80 charities calling for better support for disabled people and the the launch event in Parliament for the report ‘Has welfare became unfair?- the impact of changes on disabled people”.
Commissioned by the Disability Benefit Consortium (DBC), the research found that changes to the welfare system over the past ten years have left disabled people financially four times worse off than non-disabled people.
While many people across the country have experienced cuts to their benefits, disabled people have lost on average payments of around £1,200 each year because of changes to the system, compared to an average of £300 for people without a disability.
Ms Jardine is backing the DBC’s call for the Government to make urgent improvements to the system to enable a fairer benefits system that works for everyone.
Ms Jardine commented:
“It is shocking that disabled people are losing out on vital support because of a system that is meant to protect them.
“The impact on their health and wellbeing has been highly destructive and in many cases, made their condition worse.
“These changes cannot continue to drive some of the most vulnerable people in Edinburgh West and across the UK into poverty. That’s why I am supporting the recommendations from the DBC for urgent reform.”
Michael Griffin, Research Lead for DBC and Senior Policy Adviser for Parkinson’s UK said;
“Thank you to Christine Jardine for showing her support at the launch event today.
“For the first time, our research has shown just how much disabled people are bearing the brunt of the disastrous changes to welfare.
“Many disabled people have not yet even experienced the full extent of the cuts because they are still waiting to be moved over to Universal Credit. However, when this happens there will be a surge in poverty among those who are already at a crisis point.
“This is simply disgraceful and cannot be allowed to continue. The Government must make urgent improvements to the application processes and assessment criteria, and resolve the flaws in Universal Credit before more people are denied the support they desperately need to live independently.”