MP’s votes to cut benefits for sick and disabled

Mark Spencer MP.
Mark Spencer MP.
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Sherwood MP Mark Spencer has voted “consistently” to cut benefits for cancer patients, disabled children and those who cannot work because of illness or disability, a rival councillor has said.

The Conservative MP’s voting record from March 2011, to July 2016, includes his support for controversial Government plans to reform social security payments.

Councillor Keir Morrison, Ashfield District Council Labour member for Hucknall South, slammed the MP’s record.

He said: “It’s clear the Conservative government would rather punish the most vulnerable in our society through welfare cuts, rather than collect the billions of pounds lost to the Treasury in corporate avoided and evaded tax.

“What we need is a highly skilled, high wage economy to lift millions of working people out of poverty.”

In February 2012, Mr Spencer voted not to make an exception for those with a cancer diagnosis or undergoing cancer treatment from the 365-day limit on receiving contribution-based employment and support allowance.

In the same month, he voted against setting Universal Credit payments for disabled children and young people at a minimum of two-thirds of the higher rate.

In July and October 2015, he voted to reduce the household benefit cap, to freeze the rate of many working-age benefits, and to reduce social rents in England.

In June 2016, he voted for reductions in benefits for disabled and ill claimants who are deemed capable of work. And in July 2016 he voted for cuts in housing benefit for recipients in supported housing.

The round-up of Mr Spencer’s “consistent” voting record, compiled by TheyWorkForYou.com, showed he has never “rebelled”, or voted against, the Tory party.

Mr Spencer said: “What is important to me is to make sure the welfare state works for everyone, to make sure those who are unable to support themselves get the help they need, but also to make sure it pays to go to work.

“In Sherwood, there are an awful lot of families who work hard and long hours, and get incredibly frustrated when they see people that don’t work having a better standard of living than them.

“Now that person may be on benefits through no fault of their own, but the long-term solution is for people who are able to work to get back to work and support themselves.

“We will do everything we can to support people who are severely disabled or unable to work for whatever reason, that’s the right thing to do, but we won’t do what Labour did which is to pay people who could work to stay on benefits and be isolated from society.”