The Government’s refusal to increase disabled people’s social security in line with Universal Credit will cost them almost £2 billion nationally, research by Labour shows, and £4.5 million in the Easington constituency.

The £20 uplift in Universal Credit was not applied to Employment and Support Allowance as Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey said in May it may take “several months” to do.

Since then, 4,330 ill and disabled people have not received any additional support in the Easington constituency.

In the 33 weeks since the standard allowance of Universal Credit was increased, the worst affected have lost £660. In total, 1.9 million ESA claimants risk losing out on almost £2 billion.

Disabled people have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Almost three in five people who have died from Covid have either been disabled or with a long-term health condition, and the Equality and Human Rights Commission reported in October that disabled people have experienced difficulties in accessing care.

Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, Marsha de Cordova MP, commenting on the analysis to coincide with the United Nations’ International Day of Disabled People, said:

“The Conservatives must take responsibility for its actions. They have had months to fix this issue but have chosen not to increase support for disabled people.

“The Government should do the right thing, end this discrimination and ensure those who rely on ESA have the support they need during this crisis.”

Easington MP Grahame Morris, said:  

“The Conservative government are wilfully discriminating against disabled people, making life even harder for thousands in East Durham.

People in East Durham deserve better, and Labour will continue to challenge the government on this shameful policy.”

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