Osborne's autumn statement will have damaging effect, says MS Society

Published date: 05 Dec 2012 at 5:13PM

The MS Society is warning that the Chancellor George Osborne’s autumn statement will have damaging effect on disabled people.

Osborne earlier announced that out of work benefits - which large numbers of people with MS rely upon - will only increase by 1% over the next three years. That includes Employment and Support Allowance, which we expect 30,000 people with MS to claim.

Significant impact

Below-inflation rises to a range of other benefits, such as housing benefit and working tax credits, were also announced and will have a significant impact on disabled people.

In addition, a further cut of 2% to council spending will take effect from 2014, and could mean further reductions to social care services.

The MS Society does, however, welcome the news that disability benefits such as the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) will increase in line with inflation. Around 65,000 people with MS claim DLA.

Extremely disappointed

Nick Rijke is Director of Policy and Research at the MS Society:

“The decision to raise disability benefits in line with inflation is a positive one, but it doesn’t give the whole picture.

"We are extremely disappointed that the Chancellor won’t be increasing out of work benefits in line with inflation. Tens of thousands of people with MS rely on benefits like Employment and Support Allowance – this will have a real and damaging impact on their quality of life.

“It is also vital to consider the impact of these below-inflation rises alongside further cuts to council spending that will take place in years to come. These cuts could result in already over-stretched social care services being reduced even more.

"Too many people with MS are having to contend with very real cuts to their finances as well as vital care and support."

Page last updated: 14 Dec 2012
We are extremely disappointed that the Chancellor won’t be increasing out of work benefits in line with inflation. Tens of thousands of people with MS rely on benefits like Employment and Support Allowance – this will have a real and damaging impact on their quality of life.
Nick Rijke, Director of Policy and Research at the MS Society
Defend disability benefits
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