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MP criticised after voting for cuts to disabled benefits

by Ade Adeyemo on 17 March, 2016


MP criticised after voting for cuts to disabled benefits

Criticism has been levelled at the Conservative MP for Solihull after the £30 a week cuts in Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) for disabled people that he voted for passed through parliament last week.

The Government defended the cut, which applies to new claimants, saying it will incentivise disabled people to find work.  However, it was roundly condemned by several charities.

Elliot Dunster, Group Head of Policy, Research and Public Affairs at disability charity Scope, said:

“MPs have again failed to recognise the harmful impact that reducing Employment and Support Allowance will have on disabled people.  We’re deeply disappointed that the Government is pushing ahead with its plans despite widespread opposition and the Lords twice raising concerns by voting to amend this flawed measure.  Half a million disabled people will be affected by this proposal – losing around £30 a week, at a time when they are already struggling to make ends meet.
Reducing disabled people’s incomes won’t incentivise them to find a job.  It will just make life harder”.

Ade Adeyemo, Chair of the Solihull and Meriden Lib Dems, commented:

“These shameful and draconian cuts by the Conservative government are targeted at the most vulnerable in our society – cuts of £30 a week will cause real hardship to disabled people and I am shocked that our MP has voted for such a measure.  If Mr. Knight had devoted some time to meet and consult with local constituents and disability groups, they would have made clear to him the hardship that his actions will cause to local constituents who will suffer from these cuts.

Julian Knight is very quick to tell everyone about his ‘hard work’ for local residents.  Sadly, most of that work has been at the expense of the most vulnerable in our society”.

According to the democracy web site TheyWorkForYou (, “Julian Knight consistently voted against paying higher benefits over longer periods for those unable to work due to illness or disability”.

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