Business Secretary Sajid Javid denies Government has cut disability benefits in BBC Newsnight interview

'I don't accept for a second that we've cut spending on disability payments'

Click to follow
Indy Politics

Sajid Javid has denied the Government plans to cut spending on disability benefits which could affect more than 640,000 people.

When asked about George Osborne's latest budget by Evan Davis on BBC Newsnight, the Business Secretary said: "I don't accept for a second that we've cut spending on disability payments."

He added: "It's actually a recognition that you have a welfare system that looks after the most vulnerable in society.

"And of course I put disabled people at the top of the list, that's why spending has increased. That even during the life of this Parliament it's projected it's going to rise by a billion. 

"So I don't accept for a second that we've cut spending on disability payments."

Personal Independence Payments (PIP) help people aged 16 to 64 with some of the extra costs incurred by long term ill-health or disability.

Reforming PIP is expected to save £1.2 billion from the welfare bill, by reducing the number of "points" given to people who need help with tasks such as washing and clothing themselves, or going to the toilet unaided. 

Mr Davis said after failed welfare reforms, the Business Secretary now had to take "more than a billion quid away from people on Personal Independence Payments to try and get welfare under the cap".

He added: "In effect, you are asking people with disabilities to be poorer because you have failed to deliver the welfare reforms that you said you were going to."

George Osborne announces reforms to welfare

However, Mr Javid made assurances the welfare reform was "delivering results".

He said: "Also, on Personal Independence Payments, and its predecessor the DLA, they're up 3 billion pounds in real terms since 2010.

"It's actually a recognition that you have a welfare system that looks after the most vulnerable in society.

"Of course I put disabled people at the top of the list, that's why spending has increased. That even during the life of this Parliament it's projected it's going to rise by a billion. 

"So I don't accept for a second that we've cut spending on disability payments."

Mr Davis then plays a video of disability activist Graeme Davis, who said he had left the Conservative disability group at the news that 200,000 people would be out of benefits and others would have their eligibility lowered, while the tax threshold for higher rate earners was raised.

"Immediately it just hit me that it was a case of robbing the vulnerable to pay the rich.

"They're saying they need to make savings and yet they can make tax cuts. I'm sure people in this country would rather see people looked after than see huge tax cuts."

Mr Javid replied: "What I'd say to Graeme is: please don't believe all the misinformation that's out there.

"I would not be part of a government that cuts benefits for disabled people."

Comments