UK – ‘50,000 Plus’ disabled people have been hit by Tory cuts to ESA in the last year

Unemployment rate remians low at 41%

CEREN SAGIR, Morning Start|AIWA! NO!|CUTS to employment & support allowance (ESA) have hit tens of thousands of sick and disabled people in the last year alone, Labour Party analysis has revealed.

The party’s review of data from the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) on the UN’s International Day of People with Disabilities found that there are 46,000 sick and disabled people in the work-related activity group of ESA whose claims are under a year old.

As a result of government cuts of £30 per week, first introduced in April 2017 for new claimants to “encourage people to work,” each of these people judged fit to work will have had their income slashed.

The analysis also shows that about two thirds of those affected, or 29,000 claimants, are suffering from mental and behavioural disorders.

About half a million sick and disabled people will be affected in total when the cut fully takes effect, Labour said.

Shadow minister for disabled people Marsha de Cordova called on the government to “do the right thing” and reverse the pernicious cuts.

She said: “The Tories’ relentless attacks on disabled people are appalling. This cruel cut is yet another example of the hostile environment the government has created for disabled people.”

Labour’s 2017 manifesto pledged to increase ESA by £30 per week for those in the work-related activity group.

Disabled activist Linda Burnip of Disabled People Against Cuts called for an immediate reversal to the cuts.

She told the Star that the additional cost to being disabled is £570 a month, and it was obvious that cutting a third of people’s income would leave them facing increased poverty.

“We’ve been aware of the hostile environment towards disabled people for eight long years, which seem endless,” Ms Burnip said.

“Obviously, it’s going to continue under universal credit with the loss of severe and enhanced disability premiums.”

Last month, the UN report on extreme poverty found that the government had replaced compassion with a “punitive, mean-spirited and callous approach” through its cuts.

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