27 February 2017
The Green Party is deeply concerned by proposed changes to PIP payments, which will affect more than 160,000 people .
George Freeman MP defended the proposal by saying disability benefits should go to "really disabled people" not those "taking pills at home, who suffer from anxiety" .
Jonathan Bartley, Green Party co-leader, said:
“The Government by its own admission is targeting the disabled to try to balance its books. This ruthless and underhand move is designed simply to cut disability benefits, regardless of the impact on people’s lives.
"The Government is deliberately going against the two tribunals that ruled the payments should have more reach, not less. George Freeman’s defence of these changes was appalling and revealed a lack of understanding and nothing less than discrimination against people who face serious health conditions like anxiety. His comments are part of the terrible stigma that still exists around mental health, and reinforces it.
“With the Spring Budget approaching the Government should urgently reconsider its plans. This will hurt thousands of people, put up more social barriers and restrict them from going about their daily lives. Disabled people should not be penalised and forced to pay for a budget deficit which they did not create.”
Mags Lewis, Green Party disability spokesperson, said:
“Disabled people are already on the brink, having faced vicious cuts, confusing benefit changes, and Government indifference. Now the Government is planning to change the goal posts yet again. As a disabled person, I know these constant onslaughts cause anxiety, hardship, and terror to disabled people’s lives. Why are we seen as an easy target for cuts? We must unite against this onslaught, fight in the courts and be heard by our Government. Enough is enough."