Employment Support Allowance: Government forces through cuts

It’s bad news. Iain Duncan Smith’s finally got his way – forcing through cuts to support for people who face barriers to work due to illness or disability. Employment Support Allowance (ESA) is a lifeline: it pays to heat a cold home after cancer treatment, and extra prescription charges.

38 Degrees members certainly made it hard for the government. 100,000 of us signed the petition to prove public outrage – supporting the Lords to vote against these plans twice. In the end the government had to change the rules to make the Lords back down. Iain Duncan Smith might have got his way this time, but together we made sure it wasn’t easy.

There’s growing public anger against these dangerous cuts – just a few months ago hundreds of thousands of us helped stop cuts to tax credits. It’s vital we keep going, so that while the government’s breathing a sigh of relief, we’re getting ready for next time.

There’s never been a greater need for people power to defeat these cuts. So the more of us who are involved, the stronger we get. Please can you click this image below to share it on Facebook, as a way to show what you believe in, or forward this email to a friend you’d like to encourage to get involved with 38 Degrees. Anyone can be a 38 Degrees member by signing a petition, or taking another action:

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image saying I believe in a society that cares for those living with illness and disabilities
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If you receive ESA, or know someone who does, here are some places you can go for support. This cut it going to affect new claimants only from April 2017, but this would also include people who have received ESA before but need to re-apply after a period of work.
Disability Rights UK – ESA Factsheet:
http://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/employment-and-support-allowance-overview
Gov.uk: Employment Support Allowance:
https://www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance/overview
Citizen’s Advice: Employment Support Allowance:
https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/employment-and-support-allowance/
And here’s a helpful guide to what ESA is:
http://www.mirror.co.uk/money/employment-support-allowance-esa-how-7464164

The government’s got plans to make big changes to Attendance Allowance, which helps elderly people live at home. And Universal Credit, a reform of benefits, has already been plagued with problems. Many families could suffer if the programme is a disaster. With more cuts down the line, it’s important that we support each other and keep building a movement of people that’s stronger and more inclusive. We’ll win this together.