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Jan 25th, 2016

Employment Support Allowance – a lifeline

By Kahra Wayland-Larty

We have less than 48 hours to stop people who are too unwell to work being pushed into poverty. On Wednesday, the House of Lords will vote on whether it should cut financial support for ill and disabled people. [1] Unless we act quickly together to stop them, the government could get away with cutting this lifeline.

They want to take £30 a week away from people who face massive barriers to work due to illness or disability – money that helps pay for a taxi home from chemotherapy, or a childminder during a stay in hospital. But many in the House of Lords have said they’re concerned about the plans. So a huge people-powered push could show them that the public agrees – and could convince them to vote the right way on Wednesday.

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson wants to carry our petition into Wednesday’s vote, with the names of all of us who sign it. Please can you sign the petition now to pressure the Lords not to cut help for ill and disabled people?


Any one of us or our loved ones could fall seriously ill during our lifetimes. Right now, we know that if this happens to us, there’ll be an NHS to support us, and financial help from the government so we can get by.

But the government wants to stop this financial lifeline – called Employment Support Allowance – and on Wednesday, they’re hoping the House of Lords rubber stamps their plans. If we can convince enough Lords that families who are already suffering from the turmoil of illness shouldn’t be pushed into poverty, they might be convinced to vote the right way.

Please stand up for fairness and support for anyone who’s already facing hardship due to illness or disability. Add your name to the petition to the House of Lords, it only takes 2 minutes to sign: https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/sign-esa-petition

38 Degrees members believe in fairness, and that everyone should have the means to support themselves and their families. When the government threatened to cut tax credits for millions of Britain’s families, hundreds of thousands of us jumped into action to show the government how unpopular their plans were. The government were forced to back down.

During the tax credits campaign, 300,000 38 Degrees members asked the House of Lords to vote against the cuts – and it worked – they did. Let’s do it again. Please sign the petition now: https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/sign-esa-petition

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