David Cameron's new disabilities minister voted against protecting disabled children's benefits

Justin Tomlinson also voted not to protect cancer patients' benefits

Jon Stone
Thursday 14 May 2015 08:15
Justin Tomlinson, the new disabilities minister
Justin Tomlinson, the new disabilities minister

David Cameron’s new disabilities minister voted against protecting benefits for disabled children and cancer patients, according to parliamentary records.

Justin Tomlinson, appointed in the new government’s reshuffle, will assist Iain Duncan Smith in implementing Conservative reforms to the benefits system and making £12bn as-yet unspecified cuts.

Mr Tomlinson has a record of voting against provisions that would see more support directed to the disabled and sick.

In parliamentary votes he has supported letting contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance expire for those undergoing cancer treatment.

In a separate vote regarding the new universal credit system he voted against a minimum floor on the amount of money that could be given to disabled children.

According to the department’s website Mr Tomlinson will have responsibility for child poverty and other cross government disability issues.

The new minister also voted for the bedroom tax and against a plan to stop benefits being eroded by rising prices. He will be joined in his new role as a DWP minister by right-winger Priti Patel.

Ms Patel said in 2011 that she would support the reintroduction of capital punishment as a “deterrent” to crime. As minister of employment she will be oversee some benefit sanctions.

As disabilities minister Mr Tomlinson will have responsibility for the Access To Work fund, which provides money for disabled people to enter work.

The DWP has already looked at cutting the amount users of the fund can receive and issued an analysis of the policy as soon as general election results were out.

A DWP spokesman said: "We are absolutely committed to supporting disabled people and continue to spend around £50bn a year on disabled people and their services."

The spokesman also referred to what then DWP Minister Chris Grayling said in the House of Commons at the time of the vote:

"We should not write off automatically any individual with a particular condition. Applying a one-size-fits-all measure to any one condition is the wrong thing to do."

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