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One week to stop Government cut to one in four pounds for future ESA claimants: Act Now!

16 February 2016

Thanks to the campaigns of our members and allies, the House of Lords defeated the Government’s plan to cut Employment Support Allowance (ESA) from 2017 for new claimants in the ‘Work related activity group’.

If the proposal went ahead it would mean a cut in income of over 25% – from £5300 to £3800. What other group would accept a 25% cut in income? We also believe this would hinder not help disabled people get jobs.

This will come back to the Commons on 23 February and, if you agree with us, we are urging you to write to your MP to explain why this would be wrong.

For information on why this proposal is wrong see articles by our Ambassadors Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and Lord Colin Low. See also the Disability Benefits Consortium statement.

Disability Rights UK is at the forefront of resisting this proposal and the harm it would do to people on low incomes: harm such as having to decide whether to eat a meal or heat a room, harm such as not having the money to attend a job interview or afford an internet connection needed for job search, harm such as no longer having the fare to visit a relative or see a friend. In January we worked with 38 degrees to launch an online petition against the proposal. In six days we collected over one hundred thousand signatures and the Lords responded. On January 25th 2016 they voted against the proposal and amended the bill to remove the clause containing the proposal. They then sent the bill back to the Commons.

Now we need you to finish the job and persuade MPs not to reinsert the clause.

At www.theyworkforyou.com you can check how your MP voted prior to the Lords debate, you can also insert your post code and obtain the contact details for your MP. We urge you now to write as members of Disability Rights UK and contact your MP - either in person at this weekend’s constituency surgery or in writing via email or post. Ask him or her to accept the Lords’ decision. The bill is set to be debated in the House of Commons so you have seven days to act. Please act and let us know how your MP responds to you.

Yours sincerely

Liz Sayce

CEO Disability Rights UK