Call to abandon disability benefit cut

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Iain Duncan SmithTypical example copyright Getty Images
Image caption Iain Duncan Smith has been expected to reverse the cuts

Disability groups have written an open letter for letter to Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, urging him to surrender planned cuts to a key benefit.

The House of Lords will vote next week on oversight plans to cut £30 a week from Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) for some new claimants from 2017.

The learning says it will make it harder for disabled people to find chore.

But the De rtment for Work and Pensions says the cam igners are “scare-mongering”.

“[The letter] come to griefs to acknowledge that existing claimants and those with the most stony-hearted disabilities will not be affected at all,” a spokesman said.

From April 2017, fathers are intending to reduce the amount of money people in one category of ESA receive, entrancing approximately £30 a week from new claimants who are deemed to be ca ble of converting some effort to find work.

The change will bring the gain rate in line with Jobseeker’s Allowance.

‘Closer to poverty’

Multifarious than 30 charities and members of the Disability Benefits Consortium, involving Mencap, Mind and rkinson’s UK, and three peers, including Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, the record-breaking ralympian, signed the guileless letter to Mr Duncan Smith.

The letter said the change would “drive sick and disabled people further away from work and fast to poverty”.

“The government says this £30 disincentivises sick and im ired people from finding work, but it has so far offered no evidence for this set forth,” the letter said.


Analysis

By Michael Buchanan, BBC social occurrences correspondent

Ministers have struggled to control the cost of Employment and Attest to Allowance.

An analysis produced last summer by the Office for Budget Fault saw them once more increasing the forecast costs for ESA.

The official why and wherefore is that more people than expected are on the benefit, a consequence of an increasing multitude of people successfully appealing against a decision to deny them the help, and problems in processing fit-for-work tests that decide if claimants are appropriate.

However, internal DWP documents I’ve seen previously suggest there is a idea in government that people are applying for ESA rather than Jobseeker’s Discount.

They get more money on ESA and the demands to apply for jobs aren’t as tickety-boo.

The planned reforms, for some new claimants in 2017, will bring the ESA aid rate in line with Jobseeker’s Allowance and provide more promote for people to find a job, albeit with tougher conditions if they don’t obey.

Ministers hope the reforms will save money and get more child into work.


Mind policy and cam igns manager Tom Pollard imagined: “There is a complete lack of evidence to show that end, or threatening to stop, someone’s financial support is an effective approach.

“In reality, pressurising people with mental health problems to engage in energies under the threat of losing their benefit is counter-productive, causing additional desire, often making people more unwell and less able to earn a living.”

Jan Tregelles, Mencap’s chief executive, said disabled people were too revealing the charity “loud and clear” that the cut to ESA “will make their electrifies harder, with both their health and chances of returning to at liberty being harmed”.

A DWP spokesman said the government was “committed to ensuring that man have the best support possible”.

“The current system needs modification because it fails to provide the right incentives, and acts to trap people on good health,” the spokesman said.

“The truth is that ESA sanctions are falling, and are sole used as a last resort for the tiny percentage of people who don’t take up the better on offer – fewer than 1% in any given month.”

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