ESA cuts will exacerbate poverty and remove help for disabled

Neil Coyle of Disability Alliance writes how the proposed cuts to diasability allowances (ESA) will exacerbate poverty and remove support for the disabled.

Neil Coyle is Director of Policy for the Disability Alliance and a Labour Councillor in Southwark but writes here in a personal capacity

The essential support required by disabled people on a daily basis is affected by almost every significant reform announced by the coalition, including NHS commissioning, council funding and benefit changes. The Welfare Reform Bill goes for its second reading in the commons tomorrow.

Serious questions have arisen about the government’s analysis of its proposals which should shock not only disabled people directly affected, but everyone interested in responsible public policy.

The coalition’s flawed approach creates risks for disabled people and future government spending. This can be seen best by focusing on sources of support provided exclusively to disabled people.

The Employment and Support Allowance, ESA, ‘work related activity group’ is for disabled people not in employment but assessed as having some capability for work. It provides tailored help to find work but the Government has chosen to cut access to ESA and time-limit some payments. 

Restricting access to ESA will be achieved by finding disabled people fully ‘fit for work’ using the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) and placing them on Jobseeker’s Allowance. The DWP independent review of the WCA concluded, diplomatically, that the test was ‘not working well’.

But 10,000 people a week will soon be undergoing assessments and DWP estimate a 5% increase to people being put on JSA instead of ESA as a result of new Government regulations tabled in August 2010.

Time-limiting ESA for some recipients to just one year will penalise disabled people who have previously worked and made National Insurance contributions. Most worryingly for responsible public policy, the government initially suggested time-limiting would affect almost nobody.

This remained the government’s response as late as November 2010 when the Minister for Disabled People, Maria Miller, was asked at a national conference how time-limiting would provide £2 billion in reduced welfare expenditure if no-one lost out.

The £2 billion cut comes from disabled people losing support as Maria Miller later revealed in Parliament. DWP estimated in December 2010 that 280,000 disabled people will lose all out of work support – but the Welfare Reform Bill impact assessment reveals the figure is closer to 400,000.

The Government has never explained the anomalies in its announcements or why the cut is necessary, but it represents bad policy-making as either the Government chose not to assess who the cut would affect, knew and withheld figures, or failed to think this was important public information. 

ESA cuts represent bad policy for the disabled people who will lose directly, but also undermine the objectives of Iain Duncan Smith as they will exacerbate poverty and remove help to find work from disabled people.

41 Responses to “ESA cuts will exacerbate poverty and remove help for disabled”

  1. Sean Gittins

    RT @leftfootfwd: ESA cuts will exacerbate poverty and remove help for disabled: http://bit.ly/fMkp0x writes @coyleneil

  2. Sue Marsh

    RT @leftfootfwd: ESA cuts will exacerbate poverty and remove help for disabled http://bit.ly/htIPWj

  3. Neil Coyle

    ESA welfare reform bill cuts for disabled people running on Left Foot Forward: http://www.leftfootforward.org/2011/03/impact-of-esa-cuts/

  4. Brutus Teabags

    RT @suey2y: RT @leftfootfwd: ESA cuts will exacerbate poverty and remove help for disabled http://bit.ly/htIPWj

  5. Lisa James

    RT @leftfootfwd: ESA cuts will exacerbate poverty and remove help for disabled: http://bit.ly/fMkp0x writes @coyleneil

  6. Seamus

    Is the government going to monitor the progress of those 400,000 benefit `losers?`

    What happens to them?

    The idea that even a small fraction of them will be able to find work is ludicrous.

    The government should be obligated to track what happens to them. That way, we can see the truth behind the bland assertions that these reforms will help disability claimants find work.

  7. Rosemary

    RT @coyleneil: ESA welfare reform bill cuts for disabled people running on Left Foot Forward: http://www.leftfootforward.org/2011/03/imp

  8. BendyGirl

    RT @coyleneil: ESA welfare reform bill cuts for disabled people running on Left Foot Forward: http://www.leftfootforward.org/2011/03/imp

  9. Dominic Campbell

    RT @leftfootfwd: ESA cuts will exacerbate poverty and remove help for disabled http://bit.ly/fMkp0x writes @coyleneil #disability

  10. Kelvin John Edge

    RT @leftfootfwd: ESA cuts will exacerbate poverty and remove help for disabled http://bit.ly/htIPWj

  11. kirst

    RT @oldmankelv: RT @leftfootfwd: ESA cuts will exacerbate poverty and remove help for disabled http://bit.ly/htIPWj

  12. Kelvin John Edge

    RT @suey2y: RT @leftfootfwd: ESA cuts will exacerbate poverty and remove help for disabled http://bit.ly/htIPWj

  13. Bill Shackleton

    ESA cuts will exacerbate poverty and remove help for disabled (Left Foot Forward) http://wik.io/info/US/252185952

  14. Kelvin John Edge

    RT @coyleneil: ESA welfare reform bill cuts for disabled people running on Left Foot Forward: http://www.leftfootforward.org/2011/03/imp

  15. Double.Karma

    RT @coyleneil: ESA welfare reform bill cuts for disabled people running on Left Foot Forward: http://www.leftfootforward.org/2011/03/imp

  16. What Will ESA Cuts Mean For Disabled People? « Same Difference

    […] Coyle, the Director of Policy for Disability Alliance, has written this article for Left Foot Forward. It looks at what ESA cuts will mean for disabled people, and I thought some […]

  17. Pat Raven

    RT @leftfootfwd: ESA cuts will exacerbate poverty and remove help for disabled http://bit.ly/htIPWj

  18. BendyGirl

    RT @leftfootfwd: ESA cuts will exacerbate poverty and remove help for disabled http://bit.ly/htIPWj

  19. Broken OfBritain

    RT @BendyGirl: RT @leftfootfwd: ESA cuts will exacerbate poverty and remove help for disabled http://bit.ly/htIPWj

  20. Kelvin John Edge

    RT @BendyGirl: RT @leftfootfwd: ESA cuts will exacerbate poverty and remove help for disabled http://bit.ly/htIPWj

  21. Jacqui Alban

    RT @leftfootfwd: ESA cuts will exacerbate poverty and remove help for disabled http://bit.ly/htIPWj

  22. Sue Marsh

    RT @leftfootfwd: ESA cuts will exacerbate poverty and remove help for disabled http://bit.ly/htIPWj PLS READ – VERY IMPORTANT #ESA #UKUncut

  23. Rob F

    RT @suey2y: RT @leftfootfwd: ESA cuts will exacerbate poverty and remove help for disabled http://bit.ly/htIPWj PLS READ – VERY IMPORTAN …

  24. Miss Ben E Fit

    RT @suey2y: RT @leftfootfwd: ESA cuts will exacerbate poverty and remove help for disabled http://bit.ly/htIPWj PLS READ – VERY IMPORTAN …

  25. Nick H.

    RT @BendyGirl: RT @leftfootfwd: ESA cuts will exacerbate poverty and remove help for disabled http://bit.ly/htIPWj

  26. Daniel Pitt

    ESA cuts will exacerbate poverty & remote disabled help http://bit.ly/fMkp0x #ConDemNation

  27. Elaine in oklahoma

    RT @myinfamy: ESA cuts will exacerbate poverty & remote disabled help http://bit.ly/fMkp0x #ConDemNation

  28. Cameron cuts even Thatcher's disabled benefits | Left Foot Forward

    […] potentially disastrous impact of the legislation; here, Neil Coyle continues Left Foot Forward’s analysis of the bill. Neil is Director of Policy for the Disability Alliance and a Labour Councillor in […]

  29. Stephen Lintott

    ESA cuts will exacerbate poverty and remove help for disabled | Left Foot Forward http://www.leftfootforward.org/2011/03/impact-of-esa-cuts/

  30. Carolyn Anderson

    RT @leftfootfwd: ESA cuts will exacerbate poverty and remove help for disabled http://www.leftfootforward.org/2011/03/impact-of-esa-cuts/

  31. heather

    HELP FIGHT THE CUTS!

    http://www.hardesthit.org.uk/

    Write or email your MP!

    Protest online!

    March for May 11th

  32. Crimson Crip

    RT @wdjstraw: And on IDS' welfare to work plans http://bit.ly/gdYNpS & http://bit.ly/fAeCFg & http://bit.ly/dVbtrn

  33. Altany

    RT @wdjstraw: And on IDS' welfare to work plans http://bit.ly/gdYNpS & http://bit.ly/fAeCFg & http://bit.ly/dVbtrn

  34. BendyGirl

    RT @wdjstraw: And on IDS' welfare to work plans http://bit.ly/gdYNpS & http://bit.ly/fAeCFg & http://bit.ly/dVbtrn

  35. paulstpancras

    RT @HouseofTwitsLab: RT @wdjstraw And on IDS' welfare to work plans http://bit.ly/gdYNpS & http://bit.ly/fAeCFg & http://bit.ly/dVbtrn

  36. neil scott

    Over 9 tears of abuses stopping benefits,23 arrests,22 unconvicted,all went on my crb disclosure by police housing benefit stoppages, council tax stoppages,false testimony at court,lost cctv footage,attempted murder,evidence manipulation,stopping an ipcc investigation by cleveland police force as a part or full knowledge of ray mallon being given pilot schemes to abuse his authouritu allowing this to happen,it went on,fact,at the royal court of justice police gave evidence of 3blood samples,one was tested,sg4,found to be of the opinion of 15 witnesses as niel scotts blood,none of the witnesses stated “my blood type”after my blood was taken by G4S staff illegally on 23march 09 all cctv footage went missing,never brought to court,to back up police,or myself,I was convicted,not allowed to appeal,legal aid,barrister at royal courts of justice,after being told to sit down and shut up,the judges publicised my medical condition paranoid delusional,afterwards stopping my right to claim benefits for the disability it keeps coming.more abuses from this authourity and government

  37. neil scott

    The courts stated my medical condition as if it all did not happen the times I’d spent in all the court cases23 times,did all that information go missing also, did all the paperwork of the allegations I went to court for disappear,no I still hold it,a factor police are now refusing to admit ,denial,is not my idea of delusional,the attacks on me trying to live my life, the assaults in cells for 11hours with head/jaw physical injuries I claimed from cica glasgow the van I bought with the £3500 compensation did not happen according to all who seen me and covered it all up so noone listens to one man who went through it all,it will cost them 8 million again to investigate ray mallon,or is it easier to shut me up with paranoid delusional beliefs,he abused his authourity with the help from government pilot schemes,asbo,zero tolerance and others,allowed those under him to do so also,the executive,police,all had a hand to inflict it on me,for what reason I do know,because his 21officers of southbank were part of operation lancett and still exsist in this authourity with the full knowledge of ray mallon, from middlesbrough to westminister in london

  38. neil scott

    Its real with facts of paperwork to prove it,my life in shatters from the abuses the medical profession are willing to cover up with a label then deny me a right to claim benefits for it after it was published in the local gazette,Another door slammed in my face by this authourity under ray criminal mallon,its not an obsession,he’s in charge as mayor,he knows me and I know him,he knows it,and there’s nothing he can do in a civil court against me for it,it will cost him his wages as mayor over ten or more years

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