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The Young Greens respond to Rishi Sunak’s speech on welfare

14 years of austerity, collapsing public services, and high poverty rates, all contributing to the rising number of those taking days off work or being signed off, have been completely disregarded by Sunak. Instead, the blame is placed at the feet of vulnerable and marginalised members of our society, whilst minimising their experiences.

Sunak’s more recent accouncement to withdraw the personal independence payment from some people with mental health conditions, and to end what he calls a ‘sick note culture’ are particularly cruel assaults on disabled people.

Responding to Sunak’s announcements Tom  Atkin-Withers, Young Greens Disability Co-Chair said:

“The comments made by Rishi Sunak about people out of work due to disability are disgusting. Make no mistake, this is nothing short of a war on disabled people. We desperately need an increase in support for people out of work due to disabilities, rather than forcing them to choose between eating and looking after their health.

Disabled people, including those with mental health conditions that have a significant impact on quality of life, already struggle to get by. At a time where foodbank use is at a record high, we cannot push more people into poverty.” 

Elliott Lee, Young Greens Disability Officer adds:

“Sunak’s Trivialisation of mental ill health as a “feeling” is the complete opposite of reform. Depression can be debilitating, it can be chronic, and to suggest that pushing people into work will solve it is completely unrealistic, the Government’s Priorities are completely backward.

We need a wellbeing centred economy that focuses on the health and wellness of our society instead of one that focuses on profit of which most don’t benefit from.” 

The Young Greens echo the response of Green Party co-leader, Carla Denyer, in the need to invest in our broken health and social care system, instead of denying people’s rights to support and medical professionals.

Wherever young people’s lives may take them, the Young Greens are there to represent and advocate for their needs, views and wants, championing the rights of students and young people aged up to 30 across England and Wales.

To get involved with the Young Greens on your campus or meet other Young Greens in your local area, visit our Groups page to find out more.