On Wednesday 13th January over 130 people with disabilities lobbied their MPs including Huw Irranca-Davies in Westminster Hall. The mass lobby was organised by the Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC) which compromises more than 60 national charities and organisations.
The aim of the lobby was to campaign against the proposed cuts in the Welfare Reform and Work Bill. Throughout the afternoon campaigners highlighted to Huw the damaging impacts on quality of life and independency the cuts to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Housing Benefit and Universal Credit will have on disabled people throughout Wales and in Ogmore.
Huw said, “It was a privilege to meet a number of campaigners and charities, especially those who made the journey from Wales, to discuss the negative impact of the government’s welfare reform.
The benefits and social security regime needs to be refreshed and renewed for each new generation but those changes must be carefully considered and evidenced, proportionate and progressive. The bill as it stands risks making life more miserable and desperate for some of the most financially exposed and vulnerable people in our society.”
During the lobby Huw met with National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society Trustee Gillian Eames who shared her experiences about the benefits system for people with Ankylosing Spondylitis.
Debbie Cook the Chief Executive of the National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society said, “Benefits such as Employment & Support Allowance play a fundamental role in helping many people with ankylosing spondylitis live full, independent lives. The cuts proposed in the latest Welfare Reform Bill raises the possibility of pushing many disabled people into poverty, causing a huge amount of additional stress, anxiety and worry. It is vital that we fight against these cuts. We are grateful to have the support of MPs like Huw to help ensure fairer benefits for anyone in need.” For more information visit: www.nass.co.uk