Lichfield MP says disability changes will prevent people “taking the taxpayer for a ride”

Lichfield’s MP has insisted new disability benefits rules will stop people from “taking the taxpayer for a ride”.

Michael Fabricant made his comments after George Osborne delivered his budget yesterday (March 16).

The Conservative MP said the Chancellor’s announcement would mean a further £1billion would be spent on disability benefits – but would see them distributed more fairly.

“I know people who are living with cancer, multiple sclerosis, and other diseases who want to work to keep busy, are working, and are happy to do so,” he said. “Despite their problems, they lead full and productive lives.

“There are others who have far less threatening disabilities who work for reduced hours in jobs that accommodate their condition. Good for them for making the best of a difficult situation.

“And then there are others who could work, but because they are receiving benefits, they choose not to. They may not see it this way, but they are taking the British taxpayer for a ride to the tune of over £500 million, and rising, each year.

“That just can’t be allowed to go on when the money could be better spent on education and the NHS.”

Mr Fabricant said that some of the comments about the changes had been based on myths.

Michael Fabricant MP

Michael Fabricant MP

“Social media has been rife with comments about changes to disability benefits,” he said. “It really is time for a reality check.

“Firstly, no-one currently on disability benefits will have the amount of money they receive changed. And secondly, if after 2017 someone were unfortunately to begin to suffer from a severe disability, they will receive the same benefits and also not be affected by these changes.

“It is really as straightforward as that.

“From 2017, if someone unfortunately becomes disabled, an independent medical team will assess that person. If they believe someone is capable of work, they will receive the same amount of money as Job Seekers Allowance just like everyone else – which is less than full disability benefit – to encourage them to seek work.

“Of course, if – once these new provisions come in – anyone feels they have been incorrectly medically assessed, they should write to their own MP. If that is me, I will take up their case – as I would always do.”

Mr Fabricant said the budget was designed to develop fairness in the system – and prevent people from “taking the taxpayer for a ride”.

 

Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

34 Comments

  1. mike

    17th March, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    I cant believe this man is allowed to be an MP.

  2. Sceptic

    17th March, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    Good to see his party targeting the disabled for taking taxpayers for a ride rather than the likes of Boots, Amazon, Google, Starbucks etc.

    Let’s vilify and aim at the easy targets.

  3. Mike

    17th March, 2016 at 8:42 pm

    “From 2017, if someone unfortunately becomes disabled, an independent medical team will assess that person. If they believe someone is capable of work, they will receive the same amount of money as Job Seekers Allowance just like everyone else – which is less than full disability benefit – to encourage them to seek work.”

    This is the issue, the independent medical team. So no matter what your GP says, they can override and set where the goalposts are. This is the sort of thing that goes in with Occupational health. They are paid by the companies so bend to their wishes. The same will aply to this medical team.
    I don’t actually know anybody myself who claims disability benefit and chooses not to work. However, I do know somebody who tries to get a job, but because they suffered a brain injury, just gets menial charity work with no wages as nobody trusts the person enough to take on a role. This team would no doubt still say that person is fit for work.

    Still okay for people to use tax loopholes mind…

  4. Toast

    17th March, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    The only person taking anyone for a ride in Lichfield is this clown. Not only does he have the easiest job/seat in the country, but he can do no wrong in the eyes of the grey-haired constituents. Unbelievable.

  5. Nomad

    17th March, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    He voted for cuts then hip hip hoorayed when there seemingly weren’t any he makes his mind up after the event

  6. savelichlibrary

    18th March, 2016 at 8:33 am

    Yet MP’s shouldn’t be allowed to claim £2k a month in ‘expenses’ of taxpayers money!
    I’d prefer £100 odd of my tax go to someone that needs it, rather than wanting it because they don’t want to spend their wages!

  7. Thornton

    18th March, 2016 at 9:43 am

    Seems pretty sensible to me.

  8. Scribbler

    18th March, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    Reading between the lines: “We’re not cruel, heartless and hitting the most vulnerable in society in order to give our core supporters a few tax breaks. Actually some of my best friends are cripples, don’t you know.”

  9. Nomad

    18th March, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    Very quick to vilify and penalise the disabled who tax payers oh so need protecting from (tong in cheek)who’s protecting us from MPs from there still questionable expenses,not to mention local councils

  10. Chris

    18th March, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    “From 2017, if someone unfortunately becomes disabled, an independent medical team will assess that person. If they believe someone is capable of work, they will receive the same amount of money as Job Seekers Allowance just like everyone else – which is less than full disability benefit – to encourage them to seek work.”
    Very nice. Unfortunately disabled people tend to have higher costs of living whilst searching for work, or doing anything else for that matter. Getting less money won’t encourage anyone to seek work, it will make seeking work more difficult, it will make taking work more difficult, it will make maintaining current health levels more difficult, often I would suggest to the point where they will no longer be well enough to seek work.

  11. Darryl

    18th March, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    “I know people who are living with cancer, multiple sclerosis, and other diseases who want to work to keep busy, are working, and are happy to do so,” he said. “Despite their problems, they lead full and productive lives.

    Well we definitely should shape policy on your moronic anecdotal evidence. I know two MS sufferers who are bed/wheelchair bound and have numerous assistive requirements.

    What a horrible, horrible bunch of people the Conservatives are.

  12. Jack Andrea

    18th March, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    What is more concerning is that 28,389 people in Lichfield support these cuts as they voted Conservative at the last election. As far as Mr Fabricant is concerned, he is doing the job he was elected to do.

  13. Thornton

    18th March, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    Michael Fabricant has simply stated that people who try to cheat the system will no longer be able to. People with genuine disabilities will not be affected. For the majority of people I’m confident this is seen as a sensible ideas. Appears that the few are upset by this. Not sure why.

  14. Darryl

    18th March, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    @Thornton said:

    “People who try to cheat the system will no longer be able to”

    Are you seriously telling me that the Conservatives have finally worked out a system to weed out all frivolous & fraudulent claims from the benefits system? You wonder why people are upset, my experience leads me to tell you that punitive measures on the benefits system have:

    a. Very little effect on the number of fraudulent claims
    b. Punish genuine claimants far more than any real terms reduction in fraud

    If it were simple, it would have been solved years ago.

  15. Darryl

    18th March, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    @Jack Andrea

    Just over 55% of Lichfield residents voted for Fabricant, however Lichfield doesn’t set policy nationally and across the UK fewer than 37% voted Conservative.

    This may have given them a majority, it certainly doesn’t give them a broad representation.

  16. Chris

    18th March, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    “Michael Fabricant has simply stated that people who try to cheat the system will no longer be able to. People with genuine disabilities will not be affected.”
    That is not what he is saying at all. He says that those with disabilities who are deemed able to do some sort of work will get less money, whilst also claiming that those with disabilities who are deemed able to do some sort of work are cheating the system at any point when they are not working.
    That punishing those who have a greater need and are less able makes some people happy should, I would hope, upset everyone else, unfortunately there are many who just don’t care about anyone but themselves and those they know.

  17. Dayvdee

    18th March, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    Sorry Thornton, but you are wrong. Torres have tightened the test to stop some people with disabilities from qualifying for PIP, but also plan to cut the amount of money even if people do qualify under the new tests. Double whammy. Disability benefits have a lower fraud rate than tax. Why target those who have significant problems through no fault of their own, to give tax breaks to the rich?

  18. FiveSpiresLive

    18th March, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    What is the alleged cost of disabled people “taking the tax payer for a ride” ?
    And let’s measure that against the corporate tax avoiders.
    Easy targets, low hanging fruit. Easy popularity headlines, little impact on the country’s budget.
    As ever.

  19. Thornton

    18th March, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    ‘People’ taking the tax payer for a ride, not ‘disabled people’ taking the tax payer for a ride. Let’s not get all ‘Daily Mail’ here.

  20. AgitatorofPeople

    18th March, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    He was the mildly entertaining MP who carried out jolly japes in the name of a good local Lichfield cause, even if you didn’t support Conservatives, he was well known and he did some local good now and again.
    Now he has just turned into something nasty, arrogant and despicable.

  21. In my opinion

    18th March, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    Totally agree
    Fabricant has lost the plot.
    Looks like he is a lone voice at the moment. Can’t see many members of the tory party coming out and joining him.

  22. Frustrated

    19th March, 2016 at 7:29 am

    Iain Duncan Smith has resigned as work and pensions secretary, denouncing £4bn of planned cuts to disability benefits as “indefensible”.

    Shame our local MP could not see what the real plan was, cut disabled benefits, as disabled people, do not really matter.

    He sees selling the library as a “win win”, he sees cutting disabled and dying peoples living standards as a good thing. He seems to be showing his true colours now.

    It is time for a new MP, I do not care which party. We need someone to genuinely represent us and support us. Not such an embarrassment, as we have now.

  23. Chris

    19th March, 2016 at 8:28 am

    I wonder if he regrets coming out so strongly in favour of a policy that almost all the rest of his party are busy running away from.

  24. In my opinion

    19th March, 2016 at 9:40 am

    I have read he claims his fuel bill cost from the tax payer.
    Poor chap is obviously in need of help from the tax payer himself.

  25. Rob

    19th March, 2016 at 10:15 am

    He’s increased his majority in four successive elections since 1992 (thank goodness the labour candidate was seen off that year) so how anyone can claim he doesn’t represent us is beyond me. That democracy eh, what a nuisance?

  26. Mike McDonald

    19th March, 2016 at 11:01 am

    He has always been a waste of space and really shown his true colours this time….resign Mr Fabrique head like IDS did

  27. Rob

    19th March, 2016 at 11:42 am

    IDS has resigned from the government, not as an MP. Fabricant isn’t in the government, so he can’t resign “like IDS did” (sigh).

  28. In my opinion

    19th March, 2016 at 11:54 am

    I am sure there are many tory voters who will be affected by this loss of benefit so I think Mr Fabricant may well have shot himself in the foot on this one.
    His jolly japes will not help him out of this one.
    Majority can dissappear like the morning mist.

  29. Pauline Walker

    19th March, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    I agree that there has to be a huge shake up in benefits. BUT LEAVE the disabled people alone. Make it EASY for them to claim. By this I mean genuine disabled people. I am sick of people getting money because they have a pain in their little toe. People unnecessarily using walking sticks to pretend they are disabled. I use one myself because following chemo I have lots of problems with my bones and arthritis. I wouldn’t dream of making a claim. These people need to get a life. I walked 8 miles on Thursday, walk every day and do Aqua aerobics. I help myself. I am 69 and will not be a burden.

  30. Rob

    19th March, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    Good for you Pauline, shame there aren’t more people with your attiude.
    We’re still having to overcome Gordon Brown’s polcy of getting as many people as possible welfare-addicted so that his party was guaranteed their votes.

  31. Mike McDonald

    19th March, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    Of course he can resign ROB……then Lichfield and Tamworth could have a half decent MP who actually does something for his/her constituents. Sigh Sigh

  32. Rob

    19th March, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    I’ll type this as s l o w l y as I can MIKE.
    IDS has only resigned from the government NOT as an MP.
    Fabricant is not in the government, he’s just an MP, therefore CANNOT resign “like IDS did”.
    Take all the time you need, sigh etc……

  33. Thornton

    19th March, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    Good for you Pauline. That’s a very positive and admiring attitude to have. More of it please.

  34. In my opinion

    19th March, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    He could resign from his job as an MP but sadly he will not.
    He has made it clear he couldn’t care less about many of his constituents so shame on him
    Notice he doesn’t have much to say today.

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