Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Chancellor Faces 'Open Rebellion' over Benefits Cut for the Disabled

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Chancellor Faces 'Open Rebellion' over Benefits Cut for the Disabled

Article excerpt

Byline: Joe Murphy and Nicholas Cecil

TORY MPS today warned George Osborne that an "open rebellion" is growing over benefits cuts affecting thousands of disabled people.

Andrew Percy claimed "scores" of Conservatives were on the warpath and predicted the Chancellor had "zero chance" of successfully pushing the measure through the Commons.

Today Labour indicated it would push the issue to a vote in the Commons, threatening to inflict a defeat on the Chancellor, who was wounded last year when PS4 billion cuts to tax credits had to be cancelled.

Mr Percy, Conservative MP for Brigg and Goole, told the Standard: "It is simply not sellable, and it is not fair to the people affected. It is not fair to people who cannot work.

"There are scores of Tory MPs who are deeply concerned about this certainly far more than the Government's majority. It would be fair to say there is open rebellion and I would say there is zero chance of getting it through."

On BBC Breakfast, Mr Osborne hinted he could rethink the cuts, saying: "I'm always happy to listen to proposals others might have on how we can improve on that." Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell told the BBC's Today programme: "We are concerned about the fairness of yesterday's Budget. He's put the interests of the richest in this country in advance of those who are most vulnerable that's unacceptable."

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn accused Mr Osborne of "declaring war on the disabled" after the Budget confirmed that PS1.3 billion would come from planned reductions to Personal Independence Payments.

The benefit funds helps for people with disabilities and long-term health problems so they can do everyday activities such as dressing and washing. Experts claim 370,000 people could become PS3,500 worse off from the changes to the payments. …

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