Today I raised the fact that tens of thousands of sick and disabled people across the UK had their benefit payments miscalculated when they were moved onto Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) from other benefits.
This scandal, dating back to 2011 until 2015 was uncovered following an investigation by the National Audit Office.
The error relates to people who may have been entitled to income-related ESA but were instead only awarded contribution based ESA and therefore missed out on higher levels of support.
ESA is paid out to those who are sick and disabled – some of the most vulnerable in our communities.
Whilst the UK Government has said it will ensure that all those who missed out on payments will have them backdated, I put it to Sarah Newton MP, Minister of State for Disabled People, this error would have caused untold misery to those in need of additional support due to sickness and disability. It is important to remember that this mistake occurred in an environment in which the entire DWP system appears to be hostile to the sick and disabled. That is why so many in this category have so little trust in the system that should be there to support them. I asked what steps her and her Government would take to rebuild trust in this system in which so of our most vulnerable have so little faith and yet must rely upon it. Her response was disappointing to say the least. Click below to watch the exchange: