A Rep Body Statement on the Prime Minister’s speech about PIP and ‘Sick Note Culture’

Written by Representative Body members of Learning Disability England

“They insult us”

Last week Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said in a speech that the government will change the rules about who will decide if people cannot work because they are ill or disabled. 

He also said the government will look at how Personal Independence Payments work.  

Personal Independence Payments (PIP) are there to make up for how much more life costs if you are disabled.

Scope’s recent Disability Price Tag report shows that disabled households on average need an additional £975 a month to have the same standard of living as non-disabled households. 

For some of us PIP helps us work, and for other people PIP helps them survive because it costs more for disabled people to live day to day. 

As members of Learning Disability England, we want to speak up because this feels like another attack on us as disabled people, as well as affecting our family members, friends and supporters. 

The speech from the Prime Minister mixed up being unwell and being disabled, and it sounded like disabled people are being blamed for problems in society.  

We feel we are being discriminated against. We only want a fair system that lets us be part of our communities, volunteer or work. 

We will join others in their campaigns and we will keep speaking up. 

We think it is shameful for any government to blame disabled people for society’s problems.  

On April 24th the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) again reported that the UK Government’s approach to disabled people went against the convention to protect disabled people’s human rights, that we, as a country, have signed up to.  

This was based on a report published last year – before these new attacks on disabled people were announced. 

We all want to live Good Lives, where we contribute and all take responsibility for our society – the equal human rights of disabled people cannot be ignored.