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Calls for more support for claimants if benefits are cut

If the Government cuts ESA for new claimants by £30 a week, they must establish a plan to cover the additional financial support people need as a result of their condition, a committee of MPs has said today.

The cut is set to be introduced from April 2017, despite strong opposition in Parliament late last year to delay the change.

'Incentivise' the job search

The reduction will mean new claimants in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) will receive the same as people claiming job seekers allowance (JSA).

One of their reasons for the cut was that a reduction could incentivise people claiming the benefit, and who are deemed fit to work again at some point, to look for work.

But the report published today said the evidence for this was ‘ambiguous at best’.

Cuts won't help

Our CEO Michelle Mitchell says: “Reducing financial support for disabled people won’t help them into work, but instead is likely to affect their health and their ability to plan for the future, pushing them further away from employment.

"Disability benefits play a crucial role in helping people with MS, and other conditions, cover the additional costs they face. We want to see a welfare system that makes sense, and we’d urge the Government to rethink this cut which could have a devastating impact on people who rely on this vital support.”

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The report also recommended that more emphasis should be made on incentivising and supporting employers to recruit and retain disabled people.