Members of a Parkinson’s UK singing group in Bury St Edmunds have released a video protesting against planned cuts to disability benefits.
The ‘Parkinsongers’ have rewritten the lyrics to Jingle Bells, We Wish You a Merry Christmas and other festive favourites to reflect the damaging impact on people with Parkinson’s the Welfare Reform and Work Bill would bring should it come into force.
If the Bill is passed from 2017 people with Parkinson’s put into the Work Related Activity Group will receive £30 a week less of vital support, totalling almost £1,500 a year, despite being too unwell to work.
Steve Ford, Chief Executive at Parkinson’s UK, said: “What on the surface looks like a jolly Christmas carol recital is in fact a powerful and defiant protest against proposed disability cuts that, if passed, will have a devastating impact on people with Parkinson’s in Bury St Edmunds, and across the UK.
“With serious changes afoot to the benefits system, there hasn’t been a more crucial time to make sure people with Parkinson’s are heard. “By singing in solidarity this Christmas the Parkinsongers are making sure the whole Parkinson’s community is standing up for those who will be hit the hardest.
“The cuts would push people with Parkinson’s who are struggling to make ends meet even closer to the edge, and will cause enormous suffering and anxiety.
“The Government needs to halt plans to cut disability benefits now, before these Christmas carol lyrics become a reality.”
To find out more about Parkinson’s UK’s campaign against disability cuts visit www.parkinsons.org.uk.