Sick and disabled hit hard by benefit delays
It is always very sad to hear about people in Stockport who are under great stress and suffering financial hardship. I have recently been contacted by people who have disabilities and long term illnesses who have been refused Personal Independence Payments or are not being paid their full entitlement.
They are having to wait on average about eight and half months for their appeals to be heard and are struggling with high levels of anxiety and massive money problems. Personal Independence Payments replaced Disabled Living Allowance in 2013 and are paid to some of the most vulnerable people in the country who have difficulty with daily living and getting around.
It is a disgrace that such deserving cases are having to wait such a long time.
At the reading of today’s Crime Bill, I raised the importance of better data sharing on sexual predators between the UK and the United States and the crucial role it plays in helping safeguard our children who are being groomed online.
Ten thousand children and young people are now being exploited by ‘County Lines’ drugs gangs and forced to sell heroin and crack cocaine, according to the National Crime Agency.
I have been campaigning since 2015 to raise awareness of the use of vulnerable children in County Lines, which is the new grooming scandal.
We need to change attitudes. These young people are victims of grooming in the same way as those who were sexually exploited in places like Rotherham and Rochdale.
For years those girls were blamed for their own sexual exploitation and called prostitutes. Attitudes towards them changed and now we must stop blaming children and young people who are groomed by gangs and caught up in the brutal word of County Lines.