“Cutting the money that disabled people will receive on Employment Support Allowance is not the answer.”

Disability charity Scope responds to the Chancellor’s Budget and its impact on disabled people.

The Chancellor’s Budget announcement that new claimants of Employment Support Allowance (ESA) in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) will have the value of their benefits cut by £30 per week has been met with criticism from disability charity Scope. Elliot Dunster, Head of policy, Research and Public Affairs at Scope highlighted the flaws, saying “The government has pledged to get a million more disabled people into work. "But cutting the money that disabled people will receive on Employment Support Allowance is not the answer. It will make life harder at a time when disabled people are already struggling. "Back to work schemes like the Work Programme are not working for disabled people. They don’t provide disabled people with the specialist, personalised support that they need to find work. Disabled people are pushing hard to find jobs and get on at work, but they continue to face huge barriers.” He added: “We strongly urge the government to radically reform and improve its back to work schemes.” However Dunster commended the government’s continuing commitment to safeguard the value of the Personal Independence Payment. “Life costs more if you are disabled. From higher energy bills to specialist equipment – research shows that this adds up to on average £550 per month.” Dunster expressed his disappointment that social care was not included in the Chancellor’s statement. “A third of social care users are disabled adults. Social care is vital for supporting disabled people to live independently, he said. “It is crucial that the Government includes a sustainable funding settlement for care in the Comprehensive Spending Review later this year.” To find out more, click here
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