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Lobby against benefit cuts to ESA
18 January 2016

These changes would remove the additional benefit component from future ESA claimants who are placed in the work related activity group from April 2017.

All those disabled people lobbying were supported by disability charities, including Disability Rights UK. The timing was crucial with the committee stage for the Welfare Reform and Work Bill having concluded on Tuesday January 12th but with their report unwritten at the time of the lobby.

That report, once written, will then be debated on the floor of the commons on the 25th and 27th of January where MPs will have the chance to vote against clause 14 of the bill, which refers to the Universal Credit limited capability for work element.

This lobby gave disabled people the chance to tell their MPs that the level of benefits isn’t a perverse incentive not to work. The real disincentive lies in the ineffectiveness of the employment support on offer.

At present non-disabled people on Job seekers allowance typically obtain a job in six months whereas disabled people on ESA are likely to spend two years in the work related activity group. The latest DWP statistical release regarding work programme outcomes shows that around 1 in 9 ESA participants achieved a job outcome. Small wonder that disabled people have no confidence in the Work Programme and are unwilling to trust their financial security to it.

The work related activity component is important because it recognises that people have more living costs over this longer period, including the very activities that can support progression towards or into work such as the use of telephones, broadband, travel to work experience or volunteering placements.

 - link to video 

More on the web: Disability Rights UK

Redbridge Concern for Mental Health
98-100 Ilford Lane, Ilford, Essex