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Capability Scotland urges PM to keep benefits link to inflation

7 January 2013

Capability Scotland has written to Prime Minister, David Cameron, and his Deputy, Nick Clegg, to express concern about plans to restrict benefit increases below inflation.

The disability charity is one of a number of organisations from across the UK who have written to the UK Government ahead of tomorrow's (8th January) debate on the Welfare Benefits Uprating Bill.

If the Bill is passed it will see the majority of working age welfare benefits only increasing by 1% per year until April 2015. In real terms this means a cut in income for disabled people who rely on affected benefits such as Employment Support Allowance (ESA).

Disability benefits including Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and the disability elements of tax credits will continue to be up-rated in line with inflation.  However people on these benefits are already less well off due to a decision taken in 2011 to link benefit increases to the Consumer Price Index rather that the higher Retail Price Index (which they were based on previously).

Capability Scotland, Director of External Affairs, Richard Hamer, said: "Capping benefit rises below inflation is a backwards step for a UK Government which allegedly wants to encourage growth.  The exception for disability benefits does bring some relief for disabled people.  However, it is little comfort to those who fear losing out on benefits altogether when Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is replaced by Personal Independence Payments (PIP)."

man on a wheelchair

image courtesy of Shelter and Iam Jacobson