Following recent public interest, Headway Suffolk would like to reiterate its strong opposition to recent moves by Parliament to reduce vital benefit payments to disabled people. At the same time, the charity would like to clarify its relationship with Jo Churchill MP, a long-time supporter of the charity.
We were extremely disappointed with the decision by Parliament to reduce ESA payments by £30 per week. As a charity that supports people that rely on this vital benefit in order to live independently, we know just how much harm this cut will cause some of the most vulnerable people in our society.
Headway UK, of which Headway Suffolk is an affiliate member, has published a robust statement criticising the cut to ESA. A subsequent statement on the move to reduce PIP payments has also been made and suggests the government has lost its moral compass. These two statements – and many others – are firmly endorsed by Headway Suffolk; we have made Ms Churchill aware of our position and will be discussing it with her in due course.
Headway Suffolk has a clear policy of engagement across the political spectrum. It is non-partisan organisation, not affiliated to one particular party or cause. Our role is to improve the lives of people in Suffolk living with brain injury, and support from the public and high-profile supporters helps us to achieve these aims.
We are extremely disappointed that Jo Churchill MP voted in favour of the ESA Bill, which will no doubt cause further harm to some of the most vulnerable people in society. By engaging with politicians from all political parties, we can demonstrate the impact their policies have on our service users and will be asking Ms Churchill to meet with some of our service users so that they can explain to her the impact this cut will have on their lives.
In the meantime, we will continue to speak out where appropriate to protect the rights of brain injury survivors and their families, and call for improvements to be made to local services.