Wayne Davies MP Raised the Case Of Sharron Jones Who Has Suffered Severe Pain But Seen Her Benefits Cut

Thursday 30 November, 2017 Written by  Wales Online/Simon Collyer
Wayne Davies MP Raised the Case Of Sharron Jones Who Has Suffered Severe Pain But Seen Her Benefits Cut

A mother who has suffered “excruciating” pain in the years since an operation for a malignant brain tumour but had her benefits cut has had her case raised in the House of Commons.

Caerphilly Labour MP Wayne David challenged the UK Government to justify its treatment of his constituent Sharron Jones.

He described how the mother of four has received Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) but has now been placed in the Work-Related Activity Group, which has resulted in less financial support.

Ms Jones’ daughter, Nadia Hall, 32, said her mother had lost £40 a fortnight since August last year, and that the decision meant she could no longer apply for other forms of support.

She said: “It’s not just the drop in the income, it’s also the lack of other assistance that she used to be entitled to that she’s no longer able to apply for. It’s been very upsetting for her...

“It’s not like they are trying to help her or trying to improve her life. As far as she sees it, they are just taking her money away...

“It’s upsetting to watch it.”

Wayne David

Image: Wayne David MP. Wayne David is a British Labour Party politician, who has been the Member of Parliament for Caerphilly since 2001. He was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Wales Office from 2008 to 2010.

Ms Hall described how her mother suffered from episodes of “debilitating” pain.

She said: “The pain immobilises her, it completely shuts down her ability to react...

“She can’t do anything about them. She just has to wait for them to pass.”

Ms Hall, a compliance analyst who lives in Caerphilly, said the stress had been “horrendous” but she was concerned how people who did not have her mother’s support network could fight their case.

She said: “The Government have got endless resources, they’ve got legal minds, they’ve got departments, they’ve got advisers all working for them and [for] the people who are being to subjected to the assessments and to the process there’s no legal aid.”

In the Commons, Mr David put on the spot First Secretary of State Damian Green, who was standing in for Theresa May at Prime Minister’s Questions.

He said: “Sharron Jones is a constituent who had a malignant brain tumour removed some 20 years ago. This left her with excruciating headaches and severe pain in her neck and shoulders.

“Sharron has been in receipt of ESA and the Department for Work and Pensions accepts that Sharron is not fit for work and yet she has now been placed in the Work-Related Activity Group and her benefit has been reduced.

“Will the First Secretary justify this to Sharron?”

Mr Green signalled that her case could be investigated, saying: “Well, obviously there will clearly be individual issues in this case which I can’t be aware of. I am sure [the Work and Pensions Secretary] will be very happy to look at this individual case to see if something needs to be done for Sharron.”

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