We exist to improve the lives
of everyone affected by epilepsy

Epilepsy Action says government has “failed” people with long-term conditions, following Spring Budget

10 Mar 2017

Chancellor Philip Hammond presented the UK government’s 2017 Spring Budget on 8 March. The chancellor covered the government’s plans for funding in a number of key areas including pensions, education, health and social care.

One of the biggest changes highlighted in the news that result from the budget will be a higher national insurance tax for people who are self-employed. Another key part of the budget is that the government is proposing to put £2bn extra into adult social care.

However, there was no mention of the cuts to certain benefits which are key to people with long-term conditions like epilepsy. The chancellor did not address cuts to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or the recent restrictions to Personal Independence Payments (PIP).

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn referred to PIP in his response to the chancellor. But the government’s budget does not appear to take into consideration the recent criticisms over the changes to PIP or the cuts to ESA.

 

Missing out on benefits

Epilepsy Action has released a statement criticising the lack of attention the government has paid to these benefits. The statement says the government has “failed disabled people and people with long-term health conditions by refusing to stop the cuts to disability benefits”.

Epilepsy Action believes that the cuts to the ESA benefit will have a negative impact on the lives of people with conditions like epilepsy. The charity added in its statement that these cuts work against the government’s commitment to cut the disability unemployment gap by half.

The statement also criticised the fact that the government did not appear to have reconsidered tightening the PIP assessment criteria. “These changes could see people with epilepsy denied access to financial support,” the statement said.

Philip Lee, chief executive of Epilepsy Action, said “We have long felt that the assessment process for both ESA and PIP are ineffective and inadequate. Neither assessment is able to assess or reflect what it is like to live with epilepsy. Both are failing people with epilepsy, and with further changes to PIP, many more people with epilepsy will miss out on this benefit.

“We hoped that the Spring Budget would bring hope for people with epilepsy who find themselves needing financial support. Unfortunately, the government have chosen to continue to penalise disabled people and those with a long-term health condition.”

For more information on Epilepsy Action's statement and to share your views, join the discussion on Facebook.


You may also be interested in...

Government changes to PIP laws against tribunal rulings could be a hit to people with conditions like epilepsy

The government made changes to personal independence payments (PIP) earlier this month in order to restrict the number of people who qualify for this benefit. This move will mean £3.7 billion is cut from the benefits bill.


Comments: read the 1 comments or add yours

Comments

If the government wishes to cut benefits then they better make it easier to
A. Find employment
B. Force reluctant employers since still an awful amount of stigma out there and then claim not suitable for job even if more than qualified i.e. Can not drive.
How can one claim no will lose any benefits if it is the object to cut down on claims governments don't do enough to find employment for disabled or people with a disability employment they believe like it will just happen if u have employment if you have positive employment for some ethnic group's why not disabled?

Submitted by Graham on

Question about your epilepsy?

Use our email helpline service -- your question will be sent directly to our trained helpline advisors who will reply to you. If you post a question about your epilepsy as a comment on a page, it may not be replied to so please use the email helpline service.

Want to talk to other people with epilepsy?

Take a look at forum4e our online community for people with epilepsy. Anyone with epilepsy over the age of 16 can join, from anywhere in the world.

Comment about this page?

We welcome feedback on the content of our website. If you have any comments about the page you were reading, then please complete the form below.

All comments are reviewed by a moderator before appearing on the site. Once the comment appears, your name and comment will be seen by other visitors to the site. Comments will be edited or deleted if they are offensive, libellous, slanderous, abusive, commercial or irrelevant. Comments may also be edited or deleted if they are not relevant to the page on which they are entered.

By making a comment through the website, you allow us to use the comment in our publicity without using your name. If we would like to use your name, we will email you to get your permission.

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.