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by Tom Freeman
02 November 2016
SNP find Tory allies for disability benefits debate

SNP find Tory allies for disability benefits debate

House of Commons - Parliament Flickr

Scottish National Party MPs look to have won the backing of Tory rebels for a debate on postponing disability benefit cuts.

The House of Commons’ Backbench Business Committee has granted the SNP’s Neil Gray a debate on a motion calling for the Government to postpone plans to cut Employment and Support Allowance payments for sick and disabled people by £29 a week.

The change will come into effect in April 2017 and will impact on more than 63,000 people in Scotland.


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Gray described his motion, which has been signed by a cross-party section of MPs, as a “last chance” to halt the cut before the Chancellor’s Autumn Statment.

“This debate will provide a critical opportunity for MPs from across the chamber and for organisations representing sick and disabled people to demand that the UK Government listens to their concerns.”

Four Conservatives are thought to have signed the motion, with others rumoured to be sympathetic. David Burrowes MP told BBC Radio 4 the amount of Conservatives with concerns ran into double figures.

"I want to see by the time we get to the Budget next year we have delivered for these most vulnerable people," he said.

Scottish Labour’s Ian Murray and Scottish Liberal Democrat Alistair Carmichael have also signed Gray’s motion. 

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