Socialist Worker

Tories fight to slash disability benefits

by Dave Sewell
Issue No. 2492

Disabled People Against the Cuts hold a vigil by parliament

Disabled People Against the Cuts hold a vigil by parliament (Pic: Socialist Worker )

The Tories were trying to reimpose a benefit cut so harsh even the Lords rejected it as Socialist Worker went to press.

They want to take £29 a week from disabled people claiming the Work Related Activities Group (Wrag) component of Employment Support Allowance (ESA).

The Tories’ amendment to the Welfare Reform and Work Bill would overturn a previous House of Lords amendment eliminating the Wrag cut.

It would affect new ESA claimants judged not “fit for work” but able to carry out some activities.

These include people with Multiple Sclerosis, learning difficulties or mental health support needs who face barriers to employment.

Disabled People Against the Cuts (Dpac) held an emergency vigil outside parliament on Tuesday as MPs prepared to vote.

Paula Peters from Dpac told Socialist Worker, “ESA means I can afford medications and food Without it I wouldn’t be able to live.”

The Bishop of Durham and Scottish National Party MPs Neil Gray and Eilidh Whiteford came to greet protesters. Gray told Socialist Worker the cut was “punitive and regressive”.

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