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ESA changes from April 2017 will improve “life chances” of 500,000 people by making them poorer

Half a million people are expected to lose out financially at any given time as a result of the abolition of the work-related activity component (WRAC) of employment and support allowance (ESA) for new claimants from 1st April 2017. The government claims this will improve their life chances.

The figures come from the impact assessment for the abolition of the WRAC which the government published yesterday. New claimants will lose £28 a week, estimated to be a 10% reduction in overall income for the families affected

The DWP claims that affected claimants will be better off because the changes are “supportive of the Life Chances legislation in that this policy will gradually build the incentive for people to make the choice to move into work.”

They even argue that the policy of making ESA claimants poorer could reduce child poverty because “the number of children living in workless households could fall over time.”

The DWP argues that anyone affected by the changes could recoup their losses by working for 4-5 hours a week at the national living wage. In this way

It doesn’t explain how people who are too sick to work can actually work or who will offer them jobs for such a small number of hours a week.

The full impact assessment can be downloaded here.


+11 #9 tintack 2015-07-25 15:52
So, what the government is saying is that making people poorer is the best way to make them better off. Who'd have thought it?

There is something truly Orwellian about this. War is peace, up is down, truth is lies, poverty is wealth.The use of the word "incentivisatio n" is particularly interesting. When applied to those at the top it means throwing truckloads of cash at them because that's "the market rate", and you can't expect them to accept less than that. But when applied to those at the bottom, incentivisation means slashing (or even stopping altogether) what little money they have in order to "encourage" them into non-existent jobs.

Still, "we're all in this together".
+8 #8 tazman 2015-07-24 22:57
In the days when I was clinging onto my sanity whilst working full time in local government, I experienced discrimination and isolation. I felt that I should not be there because people couldn't or didn't want to understand why I was struggling. They just didn't want to be in the same room as me. So yes, there is no chance for anyone in the jobs market if they have a history of chronic illness. Particularly mental illness. I worked with someone who was constantly on sick leave - completely justified - through physical problems. She was treated sympathetically and everyone showed understanding. That's local government for you. It did me so much damage working there and I still have nightmares about it.

And yes Mark, I would be gone without my friends and certain extended family members who are more compassionate.
+7 #7 MarkW 2015-07-24 16:19
Thanks 'tazman'
I agree with your 1st paragraph. As mentioned I am supported by family - without I would be gone!
I'm over 60, but have to get to magic 65. Do the Tories really think someone will employ a disabled person who has deteriarated over the years, and has been out of the job market for over 20 years!
Cloud cuckoo land.........
+5 #6 b s 2015-07-23 19:53
Pure fantasy about moving in to work as there is no god damn jobs to begin with as it has been one big lie from start to finish about all these
so called jobs what Cameron has created,on the last count he reckons
2.3 million jobs have magically appeared..
+8 #5 tazman 2015-07-22 23:42
Blimey MarkW, I thought I had written your post in my sleep! I feel exactly the same as you. It's so sad that we are having to wish our lives away until we get our pension. Because I'm female, retirement keeps getting further away instead of closer. I don't think I will live until then. They will either just keep dangling it out of reach or I will just give up and jump off this terrible existence called life. Sorry to be so morbid, but that's what the tories do to sick people. And now labour has joined them so there is little hope left.

I will be sixty in 2 years and thought I would be retired by then like my mother. I had no idea that it might not happen. I worked a lot of years whilst bringing up a child alone, paying a mortgage and a lot of tax. Now that I am physically and mentally ill, nobody cares. Even my family don't want to know so why should I be surprised the government don't care.
+6 #4 naheegan 2015-07-22 19:07
I can't begin to describe my devastation at what a loss of £28 a week will mean to disabled claimants who submit new applications from 1st April 2017.
Anyone who is not poor has no concept of what riches £28 is to someone living below the breadline. Yet many of the voting public thinks that this cut is somehow justified as is spending £15bn on UC perfectly acceptable.
I see a further re-defining of the meaning of the term 'disabled' to expect those assessed as unable to work to somehow be able to magic up some paid employment to make up the difference.
+12 #3 MarkW 2015-07-22 16:26
The more these things change the more my brain spins. It is being imposed from on high and yet without websites like this we wouldn't know what is going on.
Every month a change, I can't keep up. Will I need this form, that form, this guide, do nothing, scream....... What will work?
I tried hiding under the bedclothes but that didn't help either!
I am left bewildered, frightened, don't answer the phone, hate the doorbell, and dread the post.........
Without my family I would not cope - feel very sorry if you are alone!
Can someone wake me up when I get to 65.........
+4 #2 djtwycross@yahoo.co.uk 2015-07-22 03:21
Not a very honest impact assessment. When they calculate income, what is included as in come? If rent is included, then the reduction in income as a percentage is going to be highly variable. As an example, my weekly rent is £60, so if I was on esa of £73 my reduction of income would be in percentage terms around 22%(sorry I dont know how to do percentages) not 10 percent. I also dont understand how they can say that no families will see a cash loss as a result of this policy. Its surely a cash loss of £28 for new claimants than there would have been had this policy not been proposed. I don't suppose an impact statement can be challenged for accuracy?
+13 #1 Banzai 2015-07-21 22:30
Strange but true: do you remember how, when ESA was introduced, that Ministers told us how much they cared about us all? That there would be a Support Group and a Work Related Activity Group to give us all a 'hand up' and not just a 'hand out . . . . '. Now they are for all intents and purposes scrapping the WRAG. They'll probably make it even harder to get in the Support Group, or scrap that as well.
Sadly, I have more grey hair than I care for - even the eye brows are going grey - and I can almost see where all this is has and is, going. Regrettably, the Tories will show their true meaness as time goes on. I can see it all unfolding: most nightmares happen in the dark: the Tories happen in broad daylight. Even more hurtful is the abandonment by the cretins in the other parties. Not much hope with Cooper: she started it all. As for Kendall, well, say no more. Burnham seems to spend an above average amount of time putting his make-up for the media. Tis a sorry tale, to be sure. If it wasn't so frightening and dismal it would be funny.
P.S. Anyone any news on Esther McVey? Maybe she's getting food parcels from the Trussel Trust?!? :lol:

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