Plaid Cymru condemn possible benefit cuts

Published on Monday, 08 October 2012 14:58
Posted by Scott Buckler

Plaid Cymru's Hywel Williams MP has strongly condemned Chancellor George Osborne's intentions to deliver a fresh round of cuts to the welfare system totalling £10 billion

Mr Willams said that this latest attack on the poor signals a further step towards the dismantling of the welfare state and the creation of a lost generation that will see unprecedented levels of unemployment, homelessness and poverty.

He added that such deliberate acts by the London government as the recent closures of Remploy factories in Wales, which are staffed by disabled workers, show that disability benefits are not safe in Westminster hands and that the budget for these benefits should be devolved to Wales.

Mr Williams said:

"Social policy at Westminster under both Labour and the Conservative/Liberal Democrat governments has been consistently aimed at dismantling the principle of equality of treatment and equality of regard.

"Unfair rules have been introduced limiting the right to reasonable help. Benefits recipients have been treated with suspicion and disdain and labelled spongers and scroungers.

"The welfare state protects those individuals unable to support themselves and their families for reasons varying from disability to unemployment. Now disabled people are subject to 'ability to work tests' which clearly test no such thing. Unemployed people are punished for not returning to work even when there are no jobs available. The small minority who do abuse the system are held to represent the overwhelming majority.

"There is great hypocrisy in a government that rails against the 'workshy' while doing nothing to address the growing problem of unemployment. It is clear from the Chancellor's tax cut for millionaires and his reluctance to introduce a mansion tax that his priorities lie with protecting the privileged.

"The recent closure of Remploy factories in Wales is just one more example of how disability benefits are not safe in Westminster hands.

Plaid Cymru have always maintained that the budget for these benefits should be devolved to Wales and we will continue to push for this despite the London government's destructive agenda."

Source: ©Plaid Cymru

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