MP blasts reform plan

Hemsworth MP Jon Trickett
Hemsworth MP Jon Trickett

HEMSWORTH MP Jon Trickett has slammed government plans to press ahead with the Welfare Reform Bill.

The bill, which would bring about the biggest changes to the benefits and tax credits system in more than 60 years, was defeated in the House of Lords for the third time last week.

But the coalition government vowed to reverse the defeat.

The bill included plans to means-test employment and support allowance (ESA) payments for disabled people after only a year and limit the amount of time cancer patients could receive the payments.

Mr Trickett said “I am appalled that the coalition government says it will press ahead with the changes to the welfare system despite defeats in the Lords.

“People all over the Hemsworth constituency will have been delighted the government were defeated over their cruel plans for cancer patients, because quite simply they tried to cross the basic line of British decency.

“For months Labour has been fighting this heartless attack on cancer patients and we were pleased that the House of Lords agreed with us.

“The government’s proposal to cut paid for benefits for people still in chemotherapy crosses the basic test of fairness. It is hard enough for people who have cancer to deal with the illness without the added worry of having to go back to work earlier than they would have been doing.

“The government should do the decent thing and take the proposals off the table.”