Money Wellness
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calendar icon23 Apr 2024

Proposed welfare reform is ‘full-on assault on disabled people’

The prime minister has been accused of a ‘full-on assault on disabled people’ after unveiling plans for reforming the benefits system.

Rishi Sunak has claimed the UK’s ‘sick-note culture’ needs dealing with, blaming people who view benefits as a ‘lifestyle choice’ for a soaring welfare bill.

There has been criticism of the prime minister for demonising the sick and disabled. James Taylor, director of strategy at the charity Scope, said:  

"This feels like a full-on assault on disabled people. These proposals are dangerous and risk leaving disabled people destitute.”

PIP consultation 

Sunak has revealed an upcoming consultation on personal independence payment (PIP) will look at changing the:

  • eligibility criteria
  • assessment process
  • types of support offered

The government has expressed concern that more people are being awarded PIP for mental health conditions than when it was first introduced more than ten years ago and that the assessment process is easier to exploit.

The consultation will look at alternatives to cash payments, such as treatment or access to services.

A package of reforms

Reviewing the disability benefits system is part of a package of planned welfare reforms including:

  • taking away benefits from those who are assigned a work coach and out of work for more than a year
  • forcing people with ‘less severe conditions’ to work
  • stripping GPs of the power to sign people off work
  • accelerating the rollout of universal credit so people are moved off legacy ill-health benefits and more likely to be required to seek work
  • forcing those who work less than half a full-time week to look for more work
  • giving the Department for Work and Pensions more powers to investigate alleged fraud

Labour has accused the government of running out of ideas.

Avatar of Rebecca Routledge

Rebecca Routledge

A qualified journalist for over 15 years with a background in financial services. Rebecca is Money Wellness’s consumer champion, helping you improve your financial wellbeing by providing information on everything from income maximisation to budgeting and saving tips.

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