Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn hits out at ‘callous’ plans to cut benefits

Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn
Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn

Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn has expressed ‘deep concern’ over Government plans to slash vital benefit payments.

The Labour politician has backed a House of Commons motion condemning ‘callous’ cuts to the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), which supports people unable to work due to illness or disability.

From April 2017, ESA recipients are set to see their payments reduced by nearly a third – from £5,000 a year to £3,500, the same as those on Job Seekers Allowance.

Mr Hepburn said: “This is an awful decision that will affect many people.

“People in receipt of Job Seekers Allowance generally move off benefit within six months but many on the work-related group of ESA need support for much longer and that will make the cut in their income even more difficult.

The Tories are attacking the most vulnerable people in our society with this callous policy.

“It is deeply concerning and is why I back this Commons motion urging the Government to think again.”