Leading charities call on Liz Kendall to scrap ‘imminent’ plans to ‘condemn disabled people to a life of poverty’

Z2K coordinates open letter calling for the new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to scrap cruel plans to tighten Work Capability Assessment

Leading anti-poverty, health and disability charities, including the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Mind and Disability Rights UK, have called on the new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Liz Kendall, to make dropping plans to restrict eligibility for incapacity benefits one of her first tasks in office. 

The Office for Budget Responsibility estimates that the planned changes would mean 424,000 people with serious mobility or mental health problems would be denied both extra Universal Credit worth over £400 a month and protection from sanctions.  

The OBR estimates that just 3% of these people would be expected to move into work in the subsequent four years. The charities, therefore, warn that the plans will not achieve their stated aim of reducing economic inactivity but instead “condemn seriously ill and disabled people to a life of poverty and the threat of sanctions”. 

The letter from the charities also highlights the ongoing legal challenge to the previous government’s consultation on the plans.

Anela Anwar, Chief Executive of anti-poverty charity Z2K, who co-ordinated the letter, said: “The plans to restrict vital income and remove protections for those of us who become seriously ill or disabled in the future are misguided and dangerous.” 

“It was a relief that the previous government ran out of time before the election to implement the plans and we were hopeful that a new government would not take them forward. But we have heard nothing to date that has put our minds at ease.”  

“We urge the new Secretary of State to put scrapping the plans at the top of her to-do list. Instead of introducing ever tougher cuts and sanctions, the new government must look to remove the barriers to economic activity, that are built into the social security system, through addressing the inadequacy and risk that currently characterise it. Seriously ill and disabled people should have the security we all need – the job starts now to make this a reality.” 

Share This Post

read more articles

Skip to content