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Portsmouth MP calls to end discrimination against local disabled people on International Day of Disabled Persons

Stephen Morgan MP has called for the end of the discrimination against disabled people in Portsmouth, after a recent report revealed the Government’s refusal to increase disabled people’s social security in line with Universal Credit will cost them at least £3.65m locally and almost £2bn nationally.

This comes as the City MP joins people from across the world today to mark the International Day of Disabled Persons – a United Nations initiative.

The £20 uplift in Universal Credit was not applied to Employment and Support Allowance as Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey MP said in May it may take “several months” to do.

Since then, over 3,600 ill and disabled people have not received any additional support in Stephen Morgan’s constituency.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, said,

“This pandemic has disproportionately affected the most vulnerable in our society and the same is true here in Portsmouth.

“I am seriously concerned about the government’s decision to allow this discrimination to continue on a national scale and how this will impact the more vulnerable members of our community.

“As we mark International Day of Disabled Persons, I will continue to hold the government to account on this incredibly regressive decision.”

Nationally, in the 33 weeks since the standard allowance of Universal Credit was increased, the worst affected have lost £660. In total, 1.9 million ESA claimants risk losing out on almost £2 billion.

Disabled people have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Almost three in five people who have died from Covid-19 have either been disabled or with a long-term health condition, and the Equality and Human Rights Commission reported in October that disabled people have experienced difficulties in accessing care.

Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, Marsha de Cordova MP, said:

“The government must take responsibility for its actions. They have had months to fix this issue but have chosen not to increase support for disabled people. 

 “Government should do the right thing, end this discrimination and ensure those who rely on ESA have the support they need during this crisis.”