Extra £10 billion cuts not acceptable, Scope responds
30 April 2012
Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan-Smith has said he would not accept a suggested extra £10bn of benefit cuts forewarned in last month’s budget. In response Richard Hawkes, chief executive of disability charity Scope, said:
“The Chancellor has been warming up the public for another big cut in welfare. Last month he said an extra £10 billion cut in welfare spending would avoid extra cuts for other departments. Mr Duncan-Smith is right to say that this is unacceptable.
“Times are tough for everyone. But as the Secretary of State argues, welfare should not be seen as an easy target.
"Disabled people face spiralling living costs at the same time as their financial support and local social services are both falling away. They are already being hit disproportionately hard by the current programme of £18 billion of cuts to welfare support.
“Even in a time of austerity, ministers shouldn't be haggling over support for the most vulnerable. The priority should be targeting welfare support where it is needed most by making accurate benefit decisions using credible assessment processes.
"The Minister for Disabled People, Maria Miller, is working on a disability strategy. This tug of war shows how important that strategy is. It needs to clearly set out the Government's vision for disability, and ensure that every department plays its part in improving - not undermining - the opportunities for disabled people."