Call to put up Guernsey's disability benefits

Disabled people in Guernsey should not to be discriminated against when next year's benefit rates are decided, a local charity has said.

The social security department proposed to increase most benefits by 2.9% but to put invalidity benefit up by 1.5%.

The Guernsey Disability Alliance has called for politicians to reject that move.

The social security minister said the rate was already too high and needed to be reduced to match sickness benefit.

The department said one of the reasons it was recommending the 2.9% rise on most benefits was based on the retail prices index for the island in June being 2.3% and the retail prices index excluding mortgage interest payments was 2.4%.

There is currently a £28 per week difference between sickness and invalidity benefits.

Deputy Mark Dorey said: "You need some assistance if you are receiving that [invalidity] benefit, you need savings, or a partner's income or a number of people claim on supplementary benefit.

"When we take all that into consideration we just can not see the logical reason for having such a big difference."

The move to match the two benefits is aimed at encouraging people back to work.

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