The announcement by the new work and pensions secretary, Stephen Crabb, that the changes to personal independence payments (PIP) in George Osborne’s calamity of a budget are to be scrapped is welcome news for hundreds of thousands of disabled people (Report, 22 March). Yet even the statement that there are no further welfare cuts planned for this parliament is cold comfort to those who live every day with the misery created by years of attacks on the support they require to participate in society.
The storm surrounding Cameron’s government over the budget has thrown a spotlight on the extent of inequality at the heart of its plans. IFS figures on the government’s tax and welfare changes have shown that the rich will gain while the poor lose out – so much for “compassionate conservatism”. If Stephen Crabb is serious with his talk of the people behind the numbers he needs to do more than just stop new cuts – he should reverse those that have already been made. We suggest he starts by returning the £30 a week he recently voted to steal from those receiving ESA and committing to scrap the notorious work capability assessments that have regularly found people with terminal cancer “fit for work”.