Osborne classifies disability benefits as unemployment


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4:42 pm - December 5th 2012

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by Nikky C

Language seemed to be more important than detail in places in the Autumn Statement today.

George Osborne spoke about ‘carer benefits and disability benefits, including disability elements of tax credits, will be increased in line with inflation’.

But then he said: ‘But most working age benefits including Job Seekers Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance and Income Support will be uprated by 1%’.

Employment and Support Allowance is a benefit paid to people too ill or disabled to work. Most people would think of it as a disability benefit for that reason.

Further reading suggests that certain disability premiums such as the ‘support group’ in ESA for the most severely ill and disabled and carers’ premiums on Income Support will be not be uprated at 1% but the higher rate.

But the lack of transparency suggests deliberate vagueness or a lack of knowledge as to how a complicated system works, scaring people along the way.

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Reader comments


Forgive me but this isn’t right.

ESA *is* an unemployment benefit – it acts an income replacement benefit for people who have either “limited capability to work” or those who have “limited capability to do work-related activity [i.e., job-search, etc].

For the former, this is ESA Work Related Activity Group [WRAG]; for the latter, it is ESA Support Group.

ESA Support Group is exempt from the cut down to 1% – as shown in the Treasury’s policy costings document http://cdn.hm-treasury.gov.uk/as2012_policy_costings.pdf

They’ve been referring to ESA as a sickness, not disability, benefit for quite some time now (haven’t noticed anyone protesting about that tbh). This is just confirmation that the disabled are being edited out of society as far as funding is concerned – fiscal eugenics.

How long before it gets physical?

3. Suburban Tory

Three points

1 – ESA is a working age benefit.

2 – ESA replaced Incapacity Benefit which replaced Sickness Benefit.

3 – Killing disabled children by abortion is actual eugenics.

It says (above) ” Employment and Support Allowance is a benefit paid to people too ill or disabled to work. ” Yet people are asked to attend for assessment for work, or workfare , once they’ve been moved onto ESA.

Regardless of the chancellor’s statement that disability benefits would rise in line with inflation, anyone in receipt of benefit as a result of being too ill or disabled to work will be penalised.

This INCLUDES those in the support group and those in receipt of disability premiums. While those components will indeed rise with inflation, the other components which make up the bulk of the benefit will not and will only rise by 1%. The overall rise will be well below inflation.

ESA claimed for reason of sickness or disability should be classed as a disability benefit and exempt as promised. It is as simple as that.
Fiddling around and saying only certain parts of it qualify as disability related shows exactly what the government thinks of ESA: a cousin of JSA for people who should be getting back to work, rather than a safety net for those too ill or disabled to work.

@Suburban Animal (Tory):

4. Killng off Tories is the best possible option, so many tory nutcases can be prevented thanks to Abortion.

ESA support group is NOT totally exempt from the 1% cut down.
Quote from Treasury Policy Costings Document:
“The following benefits, tax credits and payments will be up-rated by 1 per cent for 3 years from
2013-14:
• The main elements of Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Income Support, applicable amounts for Housing Benefit;

It will not apply to the premia within these benefits relating to disability, pensioners, and caring
responsibilities, the support group component of ESA, or the disability elements in tax credits,
which will be uprated as usual.”

A claim for ESA support group comprises:
A main element of ESA (the bulk of the benefit)
A support group component
Any relevant disability premia

As I tried to explain below the main element will only rise by 1% whereas the rest of the claim will indeed rise by inflation. Since the bulk of the claim comes from the main element of ESA the total rise will be below inflation.

I agree completely with Spoonydoc, there has been a deliberate attempt to obfuscate the fact that Employment and Support Allowance is a disability benefit paid solely to sick and disabled people who even ATOS has admitted are not currently fit to work. (‘sick and disabled’ is actually something of a misnomer, anyone with an illness severe enough to qualify them for ESA will meet the Equality Act’s definition of disability).

If the rate of inflation remains constant, then by my reckoning the cuts to ESA announced yesterday will cost its disabled recipients, many already living in poverty and forced to choose between heating and eating, £44 in 2013, £90 in 2014 and £137 in 2014. If inflation increases then the disparity, and the need, will both increase.

9. David A Palmer

This is just confirmation that the disabled are being edited out of society as far as funding is concerned – fiscal eugenics. Wait until paper money completely collapses, this group will not be alone… At the moment he appears to be shaving % points off payments where he can, this alone will take £Millions out of costs and so out of circulation. His intention then appears to be re gurgitate this cash elsewhere in the system to fuel the economy… it wont work.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Colin-Roy Hunter

    Chancellor today classified disability benefits as an unemployment benefit. Why? http://t.co/dM5R7f3l by @gherkinette

  2. Collin Whittaker

    Chancellor today classified disability benefits as an unemployment benefit. Why? http://t.co/dM5R7f3l by @gherkinette

  3. @GrannyWils

    Osborne classifies disability benefits as unemployment benefit | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/boaukbIh via @libcon

  4. Gavin Griffiths

    fucking twat! RT @sbudden72: RT @libcon: Osborne classifies disability benefits as unemployment benefit http://t.co/ObeyJJG1

  5. Gray

    Chancellor today classified disability benefits as an unemployment benefit. Why? http://t.co/dM5R7f3l by @gherkinette

  6. Gareth Hart

    Chancellor today classified disability benefits as an unemployment benefit. Why? http://t.co/dM5R7f3l by @gherkinette

  7. Annie Bishop

    Osborne classifies disability benefits as unemployment benefit | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/clclEom6 via @libcon

  8. Colin-Roy Hunter

    Osborne classifies disability benefits as unemployment benefit http://t.co/RHFLUyDI (Includes a photograph of me on right in wheelchair.)

  9. michelle maher

    Osborne classifies disability benefits as unemployment | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/xwyYwfZC via @libcon #dwp #esa #atos #pip

  10. Rick Campbell

    Lack of transparency == confusion on uprating rates…. http://t.co/Q2YXNMFi

  11. Alex Braithwaite

    Osborne classifies disability benefits as unemployment | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/IgnRMhYz via @libcon

  12. cwilliams

    Osborne classifies disability benefits as unemployment | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/IgnRMhYz via @libcon

  13. Rebecca Devitt

    Osborne classifies disability benefits as unemployment benefit http://t.co/8KpRsnWG

  14. Spoonydoc

    @narco_sam @Hossylass See my response here in liberal conspiracy article, with quote from Treasury document http://t.co/k7A4Mfr4

  15. janet ewan

    Osborne classifies disability benefits as unemployment benefit http://t.co/8KpRsnWG

  16. David Gillon

    @narco_sam @Hossylass See my response here in liberal conspiracy article, with quote from Treasury document http://t.co/k7A4Mfr4

  17. Sam Barnett-Cormack

    @narco_sam @Hossylass See my response here in liberal conspiracy article, with quote from Treasury document http://t.co/k7A4Mfr4

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