Work and Pensions secretary Stephen Crabb has confirmed that cuts to employment and support allowance (ESA) for new claimants will still go ahead next April, in spite of the climb down over personal independence payment (PIP) cuts.
After a ping-pong battle between the Commons and the Lords, cuts of £30 a week for new claimants in the ESA work-related activity group (WRAG) were passed into law in March of this year. The cuts will affect new claimants from April 2017.
There had been hopes amongst some campaigners that Crabb would reverse these cuts when he became secretary of state.
However, in answer to questions from the work and pensions committee this week, Crabb claimed that benefits cuts are “changing things for the better”.
He told MPs:
“We are a government that has helped deliver the changes that has seen a huge fall in workless household, we’re seeing nearly half a million more children growing up in a home, seeing a mum or dad going up to work.”
“There is no reason to change policies that are changing things for the better for those who have least in our society.”