DR UK release statement response to Chancellors comments on benefit changes

Fri,17 November 2023
News Benefits

“For the past few months there has been a seemingly relentless attack on vulnerable, long-term sick and Disabled people on benefits.

From the tabloid press to the front bench at Westminster, this ongoing rhetoric is sadly nothing new to those who need the benefits system and the meagre benefits it provides but it is becoming relentless and in an era of rising disability hate crime, unhelpful.

For Disabled and vulnerable people benefits are essential to survive financially. The fact is that for many people, benefits is their sole income because work is not an option. For those who could and want to work vague threats around the removal of benefits, free prescriptions and sanctions if not accepting the first job offered are not helping, in fact they are causing those already in the throes of long-term ill health and lifelong disability to suffer worsening health issues.

The benefits system is the fault here, not the recipient. The UN special rapporteur on poverty and human rights said in 2018 that the UK benefits system could be branded “cruel and inhuman” and calling cuts to the welfare system ‘ideological’ and ‘tragic’.

Perhaps the better thing to do is to invest in the benefits system, to increase benefits so Disabled people are not among the poorest in society, to re-structure the system to make it simpler and fairer and to put the wellbeing of Disabled people and those who are long term sick at the top of the political agenda, instead of laying the blame of the country’s financial woes at their collective doors.”

Disability Rights UK