Tory Benefits Freeze Will See Two Million Disabled People Lose £2 Billion.
At least 2 million disabled people in the UK will lose out as current cuts of £660 could increase to £1000, meaning a planned £20-a-week rise will be given to other Universal Credit claimants instead.
Employment Secretary Therese Coffey said necessary computer system changes would take months and a future increase could not be ruled out. But Shadow Pensions Secretary Marsha de Cordova said: “It is time the Government ended this discrimination.” The Tories won’t say whether the £20 rise will extend beyond April or whether disabled people on ESA will ever get it.
Lucy Hamilton, of poverty action group the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: “Millions face fear over Christmas and even greater hardship next year. It’s important that it’s rectified now.” The revelations come the day after it was reported tens of thousands of people will see their Universal Credit payments cut this Christmas. That’s because a measure put in place to try and protect people who’ve recently started using the six-in-one benefit is set to run out. As the so-called ‘grace period’ ends, it could hit as many as 160,000 households.
The grace period exempts people from the benefit cap, the cap limits the total amount of money working-age people can claim regardless of what they qualify for on other measures- for example, it applies if you get Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, your benefits will be capped if you get more than the limit that applies for your circumstances.
The number of people affected by the cap has more than doubled since coronavirus hit Britain and unemployment went through the roof.