Bill Esterson MP slams Tory-Lib Dem Government welfare changes a

Bill Esterson

Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson has slammed Tory-Lib Dem Government welfare changes as bad for families and unfair on the vulnerable.

Cancer charities across the UK believe that the changes could result in 7,000 sufferers losing vital financial support as they recover from their illnesses.

Charities have said changes in the government's Welfare Reform Bill would see some people being made worse off just a year after they were diagnosed with cancer.

Also hidden in the detail of the Welfare Reform Bill it contains measures that will mean:

·         A leap in the dark for families: Could reduce childcare for thousands of working families - the Government has failed to decide what will replace childcare support and Tax Credits.
Savers are hit: the Universal Credit will be taken away from anyone with savings of £16,000 and above.
Cancer patients support cut: the Government are cutting off contributory Employment and Support Allowance after just 12 months which will hit people recovering from cancer.

·         Disabled people left as prisoners in their own care homes: The Government plans will remove a mobility allowance from those in residential care.


Bill said: “I voted against these plans. I support moves that make work pay and that make benefits payments fair both to those on benefits and to hard working taxpayers. But the changes the Government are bringing in are a leap in the dark for millions of people.


“The Government is showing indifference to the needs of millions of people with disabilities who need vital support. And making people recovering from cancer fill out job applications is disgraceful. Rather than receiving employment support allowance - the successor to incapacity benefit - as they do now, people will see their benefits means-tested after 12 months.

“If their partner earns more than £150 a week, the charities say these people could lose £94 a week in contributory allowance.

"These are people who have worked hard all their lives, done the right thing, who have paid their taxes and when they are in need, the prime minister is taking money away from them.

"And people with cancer are being hit twice by this Conservative-Lib Dem government. Not only will they risk losing benefits while still recovering from the disease, they will also have to wait six months before qualifying for the Personal Independence Payment which they will need as support once they fall ill and start treatment. The attack on cancer patients is a nasty, mean minded, penny pinching approach to cutting spending. We need welfare reform, but reform needs to be fair. Taking money from people with cancer does not strike me as fair.

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