The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has issued a call for MPs to consider the consequences of taxing disability benefits ahead of next month’s Budget announcement.
The charity believes that plans to tax the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) are currently under consideration by the government as part of its aims to reduce the welfare bill by £12bn.
PIP is a benefit which is paid to disabled people between the ages of 16–64 to support them in living with a disability. Payments range from £20 to just under £140 per week.
The RNIB has claimed that introducing a tax on PIP could lead to many people with a disability into poverty, while for others it would mean that being in employment would not be beneficial. As a result, the charity has written to MPs to highlight its concerns.
CEO of the RNIB, Lesley-Anne Alexander, said: “PIP makes a vital contribution towards the wide range of extra costs associated with sight loss. Taxing the benefit makes no sense. This will both increase hardship and reduce employment among blind and partially sighted people.