MP de­fends vote for dis­abil­ity cut

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE -

MP David Rut­ley has de­fended his vote to cut dis­abil­ity ben­e­fit.

He voted for a £30-a-week cut to Em­ploy­ment and Sup­port Al­lowance (ESA) for peo­ple in the ‘work-re­lated ac­tiv­ity group’ (WRAG) who strug­gle to work but are ex­pected to find ways into em­ploy­ment.

Mr Rut­ley said: “ESA claimants with the most se­vere work-lim­it­ing health con­di­tions and dis­abil­i­ties will con­tinue to re­ceive the sup­port they need but the WRAG com­po­nent was orig­i­nally de­signed to pro­vide an in­cen­tive to peo­ple who are able to par­tic­i­pate in work-re­lated ac­tiv­ity and there­fore re­turn to work quicker, but the ex­ist­ing pol­icy isn’t work­ing as in­tended.

“That’s why from April 2017 new ESA claimants in the WRAG will re­ceive the same ben­e­fit as Job­seeker’s Al­lowance.

“Those in the WRAG cur­rently re­ceive ad­di­tional cash pay­ments but lit­tle em­ploy­ment sup­port ap­pro­pri­ate for their needs. In­stead of spend­ing money on cash pay­ments, which are not hav­ing the de­sired ef­fect of mov­ing peo­ple closer to work, the Govern­ment wants to in­vest in ad­di­tional prac­ti­cal sup­port for peo­ple with lim­ited ca­pa­bil­ity for work.”

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