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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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Whiteford Concern At Sheffield Hallam Welfare Warning

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

The withdrawal of incapacity benefit must be based on medical need the SNP said today (Tuesday) as a report by Sheffield Hallam University warned that the UK Government’s welfare reforms would leave “countless” households facing “untold distress” as the entitlement to incapacity benefits is cut by 115,000 by 2014.

SNP Work and Pensions spokesperson Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP said:

“Withdrawal of incapacity benefit must be based on individual medical need not some arbitrary target set by Ministers in Whitehall.

“It is difficult to believe that 115,000 people could all have been wrongly been assessed in their current entitlement, particularly when there are already serious questions over the reassessment process with people undergoing chemotherapy, in some cases terminally ill people, being ordered to attend back-to-work interviews.

“Return-to-work initiatives can benefit both the economy and the individual, but people should only return to the workplace when they are genuinely able and when correct support measures are available.

“The SNP back a move to a benefit regime that uses resources efficiently but provides support where it is needed. Genuinely sick or disabled individuals must not become an easy target for Conservative and Liberal cuts.”

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