The government was defeated three times in a row in the Lords last night on its proposals to save money be limiting the benefits paid to ill and disabled people who claim Employment Support Allowance. You can read about it here
The three main parties have until now maintained a solid wall of silence acting together on welfare reform to cut and limit benefits to disabled people. Now – at long last it is sensational to see the first crack in this wall of silence.
It was great to hear him spelling out so clearly that people placed in the WRAG group of ESA who are being threatened with these sanctions and time limits are all people who have been assessed under the new tests as people who are not fit to be required to work. So why are these people being time limited and treated as if they are fit to work? As Lord Freud made very clear in the debate – the limits are being put on their benefits only to save money. ( Lords Hansard text here
The deficit cannot be reduced on the backs of people who are assessed as not fit to work – some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the community.
More votes including one on DLA are coming up in the next few weeks. Campaigners are working tirelessly lobbying members of the House of Lords and media. Further details can be found here
It is even more important now to get the details of Pat’s Petition
out to people to give them a chance to register their support for campaigners where the government can see and hear them. Please let people know what is happening and how they can sign Pat’s Petition.
More details about the petition and the supporters here
Listen to Baroness Meacher here
Watch video of protest outside Westminster here