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15 May, 2017

Theresa May confronted by voter with learning difficulties furious about benefit cuts

An angry voter has confronted Tory Prime Minister Theresa May about cuts to Disability Living Allowance (DLA), telling the PM the “fat cats” get all the cash.

The woman, who identified herself only as Cathy, approached the prime minister during a walkabout in the town of Abingdon, Oxfordshire.

The PM appeared surprised when the woman blasted her about cuts to disability benefits, which Cathy claimed has severely restricted her life.

The exchange was caught on film by Channel 5 news before spreading on social media.

I haven’t got a carer at the moment. I’m angry and would like somebody to help me because I can’t do everything I want to do,” Cathy told the PM. “I’m talking about everybody, not just me, I’m talking about everybody who’s got mental health and anybody who’s got learning disabilities, I want them not to have their money taken away from them and being crippled.

May then asked Cathy what it was she wanted.

Do you know what I want? I want my DLA [Disability Living Allowance] to come back, not have PIPs [Personal Independence Payments] and get nothing – I can’t live on £100 [US$130] a month, they took it all away from me,” Cathy said.

May, who has encountered very few members of the general public in the course of her largely stage-managed election campaign, said the government is trying to change disability benefits so that they are “particularly focused on those most in need.

On May 1, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) reported that the £4 billion in savings that Tories had promised would result from disability allowance cuts would not be achieved.

The OBR reported that rather than cuts reducing annual spending to £13-14 billion, the likely bill for 2017 would be around £18 billion.

Frank Field, chair of Parliament’s Work and Pensions Select Committee, told the Independent the government had been “over-optimistic.”

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