Neath MP Peter Hain has hit out at Tory Secretary of State Cheryl Gillan over the massive cuts planned to benefits of those with disabilities in Wales affecting thousands in his own constituency. Mr Hain also revealed the numbers of DLA claimants of working age and the level of cuts for each of the 40 Parliamentary constituencies in Wales.
Figures obtained by Labour revealed the numbers of DLA claimants of working age in Neath stands at 4,250 with the average amount claimed amounting to £69.79 per week. A 20% reduction would see the average amount would fall by £13.96 to just £55.83 per week leaving recipients on average £727.77 a year worse off. A total of £3,093,023 per year cut in DLA for Neath.
During a heated Welsh Questions exchange in the Commons chamber, Mr Hain challenged Ms Gillan to tell the House what loss of income her Government’s swinging DLA cuts of 20% might mean for the average claimant in Wales and how many would be affected.
When Ms Gillan failed to answer, Mr Hain told the House: “Calculations backed by figures from the House of Commons Library suggest the average reduction would be £14 per week for 125,000 Disability Allowance claimants in Wales, a total cut of £90 million pounds per year, or over £700 each.
“Has she any idea how much suffering this will cause, with VAT, food, fuel and petrol prices sky high? The truth is that under this Government rich bankers are coining it whilst the most vulnerable and needy are punished. When will she stand up for people with disabilities in Wales?”