MPs call for a debate on planned Employment and Support Allowance cut

The BBC reported that some MPs are asking for a debate in parliament on a planned cut to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

Mark Atkinson, Chief Executive at disability charity Scope, said:

“Half a million disabled people will be affected by these changes to ESA – losing around £30 a week - at a time when they are already struggling to make ends meet.

Reducing disabled people’s incomes won’t incentivise them to find a job. It will just make life harder.

The Government has committed to halving the disability employment gap, but cutting financial support is not the answer.

The Green Paper on disability, work and health is an important opportunity to reform the system and make it work for disabled people.

We want to see this consultation lead to an overhaul of the fitness for work test, better access to specialist and personalised employment support, more action by employers, more flexibility and support at work for disabled people.

This should include a new approach to leave, a duty on employers to report on the number of disabled people they employ and an ambitious expansion of Access to Work.”

Notes to the editor:

Proposed changes will be introduced from April 2017. New ESA claimants who are placed in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) will receive the same rate as those claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance – a reduction in financial support from £101 to £73. The changes will affect around 500,000 disabled people in the WRAG. 

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