WORCESTER’S MP Robin Walker has welcomed a Government U-turn on disability benefit cuts which could have left up to 640,000 people nationwide worse off by as much as £100 a week.
In his budget last Wednesday (March 16), Chancellor George Osborne announced a proposal to reform Personal Independence Payments (PIP)
PIP provides extra cash for those with disabilities to help cover additional costs they may face but Mr Osborne had hoped to reform the system in a bid to save £4.4billion from the welfare budget over the next four years.
After a public outcry and following the resignation of the former Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, who described the cuts as ‘indefensible’, the Chancellor has now dropped the PIP reform altogether.
But the U-turn has created more pressure on the public finances with the Chancellor now facing a £4.4billion black hole in his budget
Mr Walker told the Observer he was ‘delighted’ that the reform will not be going ahead.
“I wrote to the Chancellor on the day it was announced in the budget to say that I thought he needed to rethink,” Mr Walker said.
“I am delighted that he has done so and that the new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions made clear that there will be no further reductions in welfare for the disabled for the duration of this Parliament.
“He also confirmed his support for continuing to reduce the disability employment gap so that those who can work have the best possible chance of doing so.”
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