Don’t be fooled by government’s callous weasel words – disability benefits cuts are still planned

Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb.

Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb.

Mystery still surrounds the fate of the threatened cuts to the UK’s Personal Independence Payment paid to people with disabilities. including Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, blindness and mental illnesses.

Just look at the timetable:

March 11, Justin Tomlinson, Disabilities Minister in the Department of Work and Pensions, officially announced plans to make changes, to make cuts, to Personal Independence Payment.

March 16, in his budget speech, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne gave details of the cuts the government was proposing.

Following the budget, and for a further two days, uproar ensued. Not just protests from those likely to be affected but from disability charities too. And the government, which has a majority of just 17, suddenly found itself facing almost certain defeat in the House of Commons when around 20 of its own MPs said they would oppose the move.

Back-peddling was the order of the day, publicly hinted at by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan on BBC Question Time, when she said that the proposed cut was only ‘a suggestion’; with the Chancellor saying that he would look again to get things right.

March 18 saw Iain Duncan Smith resign as Work and Pensions Secretary, calling the planned cuts ‘a compromise too far’.

Prime Minister David Cameron, in his reply to Duncan Smith’s resignation letter, said “Today we agreed not to proceed with the policies in their current form and instead to work together to get these policies right over the coming months.”

Look at that closely, read it carefully. The Prime Minister did NOT say that those policies, the cuts, won’t happen. What he did say was that they would not go ahead in their ‘current form’ and that the policy would be got ‘right’ in the coming months.

Then, yesterday March 19, Stephen Crabb was promoted from being Welsh Secretary to take over at Work and Pensions. And, on his first day in his new post, he said the cuts to disability benefits will “not be going ahead.”

Well, actually, no he didn’t! Let’s look at it carefully.

These are the words that the new Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb really said: “We’re not going to be going ahead with these cuts to disability benefits that were proposed on budget day.

“The prime minister has confirmed that himself. I was very clear when I discussed the offer of the job this morning we were not going to go ahead with the cuts that were proposed.”

Sounds good, right? Well, err, no. The key words in the first sentence are ‘that were proposed on budget day’. Similarly, two sentences later the telling words are ‘that were proposed’.

Now, call me a cynic if you like but I have worked as a journalist, spent time in public relations and been around politicians long enough to recognise this for what it is – the use of prepared phrases, or callous weasel words, designed to trick us into thinking the cuts won’t happen.

The government is just trying to buy time to find a way to get them through in another form and without rebellion from within their own MPs.

Trust me, despite what we are being led to believe, the cuts are still very much on the table.


24 thoughts on “Don’t be fooled by government’s callous weasel words – disability benefits cuts are still planned

    • He won’t do that because they haven’t been scrapped. They have still got to make the same level of cuts; it’s just how they present it.


  1. I have been informed that I will not receive pip because I canelled my assasment and requested a home visit evan my gp wrote to them in time The dwp have not rung me back until I then received a letter saying that my pip has been ,,I have had M S for 2o years and had to claim DLA for the past 10 years I HAd ASSESMENT then My benefits are to be cancelled on the 28 th march I cannot manage without help PS I am 65 years of age and live alone


    • Anne, appeal immediately. Do not wait. Get help locally, MS Society, CAB, your MP., Get everyone involved. Speak to your local newspaper.


  2. after numerous phone calls they eventually rang back after waiting for ages to speak to a human being PHONE CALLS TO THEM ARE AT STANDARD RATE AND THEY CAN KEEP YOU WAITING AT LEAST 30 MINS I feel that I have been captive in my own home waiting for DWP to ring They are following up my disability and will send information to the healthcare professional who will send me an appointment for a home visit ..GUESS WHAT NOTHING HAS HAPPENED BOTH HAVE NOT HEARD FROM EACH OTHER, Another day waiting in My disability payment has now stopped incl my car tax ,,I cannot go out and now I HAVE NO MONEY ,Any suggestions


  3. dpw told me not to appeal until I have been assessed ,I am still waiting for them to c0me and do a home one friends family ms society cab can not understand why anyone like me can have MS and be disbled for 15 years and be refused PIP Now they have stopped my benefits how can I afford to eat or wash ,or pay someone to clen my house or pay my rent ,


  4. it is now Monday and it has been a week and still no on was got in touch with me Today I rang ATOS healthcare prof they cannot send me appointment till they hear from DWP the still havenot sent anything about me yet The person I spoke to at DWP informed me because I did not have any money now they have cancelled my benefits I could not evan afford a pint of milk just an example they informed me that disability was not for food only living expenses \


  5. my disability benefit was what it was titled to help for disabled people allowance .The PIP systems seems to help with help only I already have a home help , bath seat,toilet frame,walkimg stick.walking frame, help with electric,etc is needed .


    • Anne, did you do as you were advised to, and contact your local newspaper, your MP – or anyone who you think can raise a stink over this? Having MS is serious, and they know this, so I expect the newspapers might be interested in your story, especially with all the backlash this government is feeling at the moment :/

      Where Motability are concerned, if you ask them, they might possibly give you a few weeks more with your car – I read that they are helping people in your position, on an interim basis, while you fight for your benefits, but you have to ask them – they won’t do it automatically, unfortunately :/

      Please do create a fuss about this, especially to the media – ring up the big newspapers if your local one isn’t interested!

      I wish you well in your fight 🙂


  6. I have been in touch with a charitable co in reading who were very helpful (by TAXI) and wrote to my MP Teresa May on my behalf I then received a reply from the House of Commons within a week Posative reply,.later 1 week DWP at blackpool rang me and are going to help So lets wait and see what happens next They had received a letter from Teresa May


  7. thanks for listening to my comments and I valued your replies ,,I will reply to you when it is all resolved
    things are going better so far


    • Hi Anne, I am glad things are looking better for you and that you took our advice to contact people who could help you. Will someone from the people who took action on your behalf be present at the Atos visit? I would really recommend it. You can even arrange for the interview to be recorded, if you wish.


    • As much as that would make me deliriously happy, Anne, I can’t see it happening at all, unfortunately – at least not while we have the sort of Politicians we do 😦

      I’m on Indefinite DLA, but I’m just waiting for the brown envelope to come through the letterbox – and I know I’ll be lucky indeed to get awarded PIP, with the way the questions have been slanted, and despite the fact that I’ll never recover from my problems, just get worse than I already am 😦


  8. forget to tell you about my neighbour whose daughter has also been refuse PIP her daughter is 17 and has cerebal palsy and two friends from the ms group woke up to find their cars have been returned to motorbility I wonder what was the reason this time ..


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