The SNP is calling on the UK Government to abandon planned cuts to Employment Support Allowance work-related activity group (ESA WRAG) as they will be ‘devastating and push people into even greater hardship’.
Patricia Gibson MP has welcomed the moves by Work and Pensions Secretary Damien Green MP to end reassessment for the chronically ill but says the Tories must do more.
“Changes to the reassessment process for people who are chronically ill is very welcome and will give great comfort to those with long term conditions.
“However, this is a missed opportunity by the Secretary of State to set out an ambitious plan to protect the sick and disabled. The Work Capability Assessment is simply not fit for purpose and plugging some of the holes in a failing system is simply not good enough.
“The Prime Minster said she wants a ‘society that works for everyone’ yet the Tories are still pushing ahead with devastating cuts to ESA WRAG, hitting those who are sick and disabled.
“Rather than simply giving with one hand and taking with the other, it is vital that the Tories go the extra mile and axe cuts that will see some of the most vulnerable lose £30 a week from next April.
“Mr Green has said that there would be no more austerity cuts but these are still looming. This week the Tories have an opportunity to stop them before they do real damage.
“Ministers must understand that far from acting as an incentive for disabled people and those suffering from ill-health, this arbitrary cut is more likely to push people into even greater hardship. It is only by tackling the barriers facing people with additional needs that we can help disabled people and those with ill health back to work.
“This week’s Tory Conference is the place to confirm that the UK Government will do just that.”