Lords vote against time limiting benefits

Published date: 12 Jan 2012 at 1:48PM

Plans to limit the out-of-work disability benefit Employment & Support Allowance (ESA) to just one year were rejected by the House of Lords yesterday.

However, the Government has insisted it will press ahead with the plans - despite this defeat.

The Government has proposed all but the most seriously ill people claiming ESA could only do so for a year - after which those who do not pass a means-test will risk losing their benefit.

Yesterday the House of Lords stated this was 'immoral' and voted for the time-limit to be at least two years.

MPs will now need to decide whether to accept the Lords' changes when the Bill goes back into the House of Commons in the coming weeks. 

Block the government's plans

It's now more important than ever before that you write to or visit your local MP and explain why contributory ESA should not be limited to one year.

You could outline that the plan:

  • penalises those who have worked and paid National Insurance contributions, and doesn’t protect the poorest – those with a partner earning as little as £150 per week face losing their benefit.
  • doesn’t protect the ‘most disabled’; up to 8000 people with MS who claim ESA could see their benefit withdrawn after a year.
  • means high volumes of people will be left without the support that they rightly need
  • The application process for ESA is flawed, and large numbers of people with MS facing serious barriers to work are placed in the ‘Work Related Activity Group’, which will be time-limited.

Find contact details for your MP and send us a copy of your letters.

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Page last updated: 20 Nov 2012

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