Earlier today, during PMQs, David Cameron declined to rule out cuts to disability benefits as part of George Osborne’s planned £12bn welfare savings to be outlined this year. The admission came in response to a question from Stephen.
The Prime Minister, who confirmed to MPs that he stood by his commitment during the election campaign to maintain child benefit in its current form for the next five years, failed to give a similar commitment on disability payments.
Speaking in the Chamber, Stephen asked: "...I welcome the prime minister’s confirmation that there will be no cuts in the rates of, or eligibility conditions, for child benefit. Will he also confirm the commitment he made during the election that there will be no cuts in the benefits paid for disabled people?”
The Prime Minister replied: "What we have actually done is increase the benefits paid to disabled people by bringing in the personal independence payment which is actually more generous to those who are most disabled. Can I say how much I enjoyed meeting with him during the general election where we both addressed the Festival of Life in the Excel centre in his constituency. I don’t know about him, but it’s certainly the only time I’ve spoken to 45,000 people in my life.”
Speaking afterwards, Stephen said: “Disabled people have had pretty raw deal in the past five years and they must be wondering what on earth will happen in the next five. The Prime Minister promised during the election campaign to protect disabled people from cuts and they will be worried that he has now refused to confirm that.”