Blackpool MP hits out over PIP cuts

Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden has slammed the Government over their plans to cut a disability payment which will hit vulnerable people in the resort.

Tuesday, 22nd March 2016, 11:30 am
Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden

He said the Tories were in complete disarray on their plans to further cut the disability benefit Personal Independence Payments, with rumours of a back-track after the shock resignation of Iain Duncan Smith as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions over the issue.

He said If the cuts do go ahead, it will leave those in receipt of PIP (1,586 people in Blackpool South) on average £3,500 a year worse off.

He added that countrywide, 13,000 customers of the Motability scheme had also lost out from this Government’s policies - a scheme which Gordon supports and has helped thousands of disabled people with access to cars, mobility scooters or electric wheelchairs.

Gordon said: “From my casework and my advice surgeries, I know how much of a lifeline PIP payments are to this vulnerable group of people with disabilities and that’s why I fiercely oppose any cuts in such support, which has already been whittled to the bone by the Tories.

“Many of my constituents now face an anxious wait over Easter to see if the Government do in fact backtrack on cutting these vital welfare payments – the devil will be in the detail.”

Gordon said it was “grossly unfair” of Mr Osborne to even try to cut PIP payments when he simultaneously announced tax cuts for the wealthiest in last Wednesday’s Budget.

On the resignation of Iain Duncan Smith, Gordon added: “His resignation has revealed the Tories are in complete disarray over welfare at a time when their deep cuts continue to cause enormous damage for the most vulnerable in Blackpool.”

Personal Independence Payment helps with some of the extra costs caused by long-term ill-health or a disability with payments of £21.80 and £139.75 a week depending on their circumstances.