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Second backbench WOW campaign debate hears of “hostile” and “dehumanising” benefits assessment system.

What: MPs take part in a debate on the impact of eight years of cuts to disability support, the second such debate secured by the WOW campaign of disabled campaigners. The backbench debate was the result of months of lobbying of cross-party MPs by the disabled-led WOWcampaign, which has been pushing for six years for the government to carry out an assessment of the impact of all of its cuts to disabled people’s support. It is the follow-up to a high-profile debate that took place in the Commons in February 2014, after nearly 105,000 people had signed a petition calling on the government to carry out a cumulative impact assessment. Labour’s Debbie Abrahams tells the debate how one disabled person, someone with significant mental distress, had told her how he had been forced through seven benefit assessments in six years. She says that more and more disabled people are becoming isolated in their own homes and are facing the “relentless stress and anxiety resulting from a social security system that is hostile, unsupportive and even dehumanising”.

Why significant: Shows the continuing impact of austerity on disabled people, five years after the first WOW debate.


Disability Support Volume 651: debated 2018
MPs hear of ‘despair’ of austerity’s victims in second WOW debate, Pring, 2018