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Disability costs must be covered before applying £30 ESA cut say MPs

03 February 2017

Government must establish additional financial support for disabled people before introducing lower benefit rate, says Work and Pensions committee.

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In a cross-party report published today, Friday 3 February 2017, the Work and Pensions Committee says that, if the Department is to press ahead with introducing a lower rate of benefit for new claimants of the Employment Support Allowance (ESA) in the Work-Related Activity Group (WRAG) it must first have set out a clear plan for identifying where new claimants have additional, unavoidable living costs relating to their conditions, and how it will ensure that these costs are covered.

Commenting on the Work and Pensions select committee report on disability employment published on 3 February, Liz Sayce, CEO of Disability Rights UK, said:

‘The select committee is right to highlight the forthcoming cuts to Employment Support Allowance as wrong in principle and ineffective in practice.

‘We’re not aware of one single disability employment or benefits expert who thinks this particular cut will be an incentive for disabled people to get a job. The House of Lords twice tried to get this damaging cut reversed, but to no avail.

‘Whilst there are many ideas in the government’s green paper to be welcomed, the select committee report says much more is needed and the government must be pragmatic about any plans to close the disability employment gap. Many disabled people could and would work, if they got the right specialist support and employers were more open to employing them.’

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