Dawn Primarolo MP's response to constituents regarding the “Counting the Cost” campaign:
Thank you for your correspondence regarding Contact a Family's 'Counting the Costs' report, which I welcome.
I am sure you are fully aware that disabled people and their families have borne the brunt of the current Government’s cuts to social security, including policies such as the bedroom tax. Support services provided by local authorities have also been cut as Councils receive far less funding from central government.
The report highlights the growing number of families with disabled children that are struggling to meet basic needs such as food and energy. It is clear that the Big 6 energy companies must be forced to cut bills in the short term and that in the longer term there should be wide-ranging reform of the energy market. The Government should take urgent action now to clear up the mess made by ATOS of the both ESA regime and the new Personal Independence Payment. In addition they should stop the current benefits sanctioning regime - which is contributing to more and more people having to use food banks or taking out high interest loans.
It is one of the most basic responsibilities of government that vulnerable people have the support and dignity they deserve. The 'Counting the Cost' report suggests that this government has completely failed to uphold that responsibility and I hope this is reflected in the result of the General Election later this year.
Thank you once again for writing to me and for sharing your views.