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Budget 2016: £1.2bn cuts to PIP a 'flagrant attack on disabled people', says SDLP's Margaret Ritchie

'This is the biggest revenue raiser in this Budget, yet he shied away from declaring this in the House'

Published 16/03/2016

South Down MP Margaret Ritchie
South Down MP Margaret Ritchie

Margaret Ritchie has attacked the Chancellor George Osborne's £1.2bn cuts to Personal Independence Payment as 'a flagrant attack on disabled people'.

The SDLP MP for South Down said the cuts were "shameful" and accused Mr Osborne of 'shying away' from mentioning PIP in his speech to the House.

Ms Ritchie said: "We have witnessed another austerity budget from George Osborne, with pay outs for the rich at the expense of those with disabilities. The Chancellor’s failure to mention the £1.2bn cut to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in his statement was no mistake.

“From January 2017, the number of points awarded to those who need an aid or appliance as support will be reduced. There is no justifiable reason for this flagrant attack on disabled people.

Budget 2016: Key points at-a-glance [Graphic]

The MP said it will make life more difficult for people who "already face massive barriers and it will drive more people into deeper poverty".

Ms Ritchie added: "This will cut the incomes of those who require support getting dressed and walking because the Chancellor has decided to move the goalposts.

"This is the biggest revenue raiser in this Budget, yet he shied away from declaring this in the House. The Chancellor himself knows that these cuts are shameful, wrong and unjustifiable. This change will spell deep cuts and a serious impact on the lives of disabled people. I will be writing to the Chancellor and the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to outline my grave concern.”

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