Proposed changes to disability benefits

The Rt. Hon. George Osborne MP

Chancellor of the Exchequer

HM Treasury

1 Horse Guards Road

London

SW1A 2HQ

18th March 2016

I am writing to express my concerns over the proposed changes to ESA and PIP payments.

The group of people who could be potentially affected by these proposals are some of the most vulnerable in our society, many with complex medical issues which cannot only hinder their ability to find the confidence to look for work but put them at a disadvantage in both the selection and interview process.

While I appreciate the current proposals look to address the hurdles faced by those with disabilities getting employment by filling in any gaps that may seemingly be preventing an individual being work ready, I fear in practice this will not overcome the stigma and in some cases short-sightedness of some employers who would never consider giving the opportunity to someone with a disability. There is more we can do to ensure that this very capable, willing and hard working group of people are not overlooked and indeed lost in the extremely competitive jobs market.

I consider there to be a number of alternative resolutions to this issue that would actually be cost neutral to the Government, such as encouraging apprenticeships and back to work related schemes and incentives for employers all of which encourage rather than penalise.

Additionally, I have further concern as to the compounded affect the change in eligibility criteria to Personal Independence Payment will also have on disabled people. I am fearful that full impact of all these proposed changes have not been fully realised and I consider the opportunity must be taken to reflect on the full and far reaching effects of all of the proposed changes will have on peoples lives.

I reiterate my stance of supporting austerity and the need to live within our means and I truly believe as a strong, forward thinking, compassionate Government we can find a better solution to these longstanding issues.

Kindest Regards

 

Amanda Solloway