Conservatives slammed over 'unacceptable targeting of the vulnerable'

A former Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for north Northumberland has slammed the Tories for a lack of humanity after proposing to slash disability payments.

Lib Dem Julie Porksen
Lib Dem Julie Porksen

There has been a Government U-turn since the disability cuts proposed in George Osborne's Budget Statement last Wednesday led to the resignation of Iain Duncan Smith from his post as Work and Pensions Secretary.

The changes to Personal Independence Payments (PIP) announced ahead of the Budget will now not go ahead "in their current form", according to Downing Street.

Following the changing news on budget cuts, local Lib Dem activist Julie Pörksen has said: "It is extremely sad that the Conservatives can only reconsider their stance on slashing support for disabled people because they have realised it is politically unacceptable to carry on such targeted attacks on the most vulnerable in society.

"If they had any sense of humanity, fairness or social justice they would not even consider making life harder for the most vulnerable. The Conservative Budget and ensuing chaos shows the Conservatives cannot be trusted to care for people and will keep taking harmful decisions if they think they can get away with it. I am pleased that public pressure has caused the Conservatives to listen and hope that this pressure will continue."

Alternative proposals for saving the £4billion earmarked for the savings are now set to come in the Autumn Statement.

Yesterday, before the U-turn, Mrs Pörksen had criticised the Conservative Government for giving tax cuts for top rate taxpayers by cutting benefits for the disabled.

She said: "Currently, in 2016, I do not believe our UK economy is in a strong enough position to be cutting taxes - the fact that the Conservatives are cutting taxes for the wealthiest by cutting support for the disabled is appalling.

"While support for small businesses can be welcomed, the cuts in corporation tax will put severe pressure on public finances at a time when our public services, such as the NHS and education, are being stretched to the limit. Yet again, the Conservative Government is proving they live in a parallel universe where it is fine to be robbing the poor to pay for the rich - here in the real world I think their actions are immoral and inhuman."