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[21 MAY 99] CHRISTINE ODDY MEP PRESS RELEASE
Oddy Opposes Welfare Cuts for Disabled

Christine Oddy MEP has today pledged support to the twelve major disability organisations who have resigned from the Government's Disability Benefits Forum in protest at the Government's Welfare Reform Bill and its devastating impact on disability benefits for disabled people.

Christine Oddy MEP states:

"If implemented, the Welfare Reform Bill will cut 750 million from disability benefits through harsh new National Insurance requirements for new claimants and penalties for those who have made provision for occupational pensions worth more than 50 per week.

"Severe Disablement Allowance is to be abolished for all new claimants which will affect 16,000 people per year including 10,000 women. This will have a devastating impact on the most severely disabled people who obviously have extra costs to lead their lives.

"Disabled people with occupational or personal pensions will be penalised and receive a reduced contribution for incapacity benefit. This will affect 45,000 people in the first year rising to 335,000 people after ten years.

"The Government is being deceitful when it asserts that the moves are not cuts driven. Savings amount to 3/4 billion whilst additional expenditure is only 85 million.

"I shall be campaigning with organisations such as the Royal National Institute for the Blind, Royal National Institute for Deaf People, SCOPE, RADAR and MIND to oppose these draconian cuts."

NOTES

The major disability organisations involved include Royal National Institute for the Blind, Royal National Institute for Deaf People, the British Council of Disabled People, SCOPE, RADAR, MIND, Disability Alliance, NACAB, People First, Carers National Association, Rights Now and National Care Centre for Independent Living.
 

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CHRISTINE ODDY MEP




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