Parliament: Welfare: Disabled `betrayed' by proposed benefit cuts

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The Independent Online
FRANK FIELD, the former Social Security minister, launched his most vigorous attack to date on the Government's welfare plans when he claimed yesterday that pounds 750m of benefit cuts would betray the disabled.

Mr Field spoke out after disabled rights campaigners held a mass lobby of Parliament in protest at the Welfare Reform and Pension Bill currently passing through the House of Commons. The Disability Benefits Consortium, an umbrella group of more than 250 disabled groups, said that the Bill would remove crucial financial support from some of the most vulnerable in society.

The proposals include the abolition of the Severe Disablement Allowance.

Mr Field was joined by Lord Ashley of Stoke (Lab), chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Disablement Group, and backbench MPs, including Dr Lynne Jones (Lab, Birmingham Selley Oak). "The cutsbreak the specific promise to disabled people that any social security savings would come from helping them to find work and not from cutting entitlement," Mr Field said.