Angry disabled activists take on Osborne’s vicious attacks on the vulnerable
DISABLED activists rallied inside Parliament yesterday after “vile” Chancellor George Osborne attempted to further make their lives even harder. Dozens of people demonstrated in the central lobby, while Jeremy Corbyn demanded answers from David Cameron in the Chamber.
Despite the Tory U-turn on cuts to the personal independent payment (PIP), campaigners are still outraged at the reduction of subsidies such as the employment and support allowance (ESA) — now a mere £30 a week.
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell was the first MP to come down to show his solidarity with protesters, walking out of the Commons Chamber to loud cheers from the group.
He told the Star the demonstration was “a justified expression of anger by disabled people against the cuts this government is driving through.”
On Monday David Cameron was forced to admit that a nearly £4.5 billion black hole in the new budget would not be remedied by further welfare cuts.
But when Mr Corbyn asked him during Prime Minsiter’s Questions yesterday whether he could “absolutely and categorically rule out any further cuts to welfare spending in the lifetime of this parliament,” the PM remained tight-lipped.
That drew the ire of the Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) activists in the lobby.
Martin Tulley said: “None of them understand a thing, they live in a Westminster bubble, they have a sort of parliamentary bar beerglasses.
“The Tories do not care, they are not compassionate they are the vilest scum of the Earth.”
The wheelchair-user added: “[George Osborne] should resign, the Tory government should resign, hand over to Jeremy Corbyn and let us make a better society where everybody is included.”
Tory MPs gave the lobby a wide berth during the protest, but several SNP MPs came down, as well as Labour’s Jess Phillips and Green MP Caroline Lucas.
Ms Lucas and Ms Phillips confirmed to the Star that ushers had locked the doors connecting the Commons to the lobby and said Tories were seen leaving through the back.
Outside Parliament, DPAC spokeswoman Paula Peters accused the government of being “scared of disabled people in wheelchairs fighting back.”