The House of Lords have pushed back on the government’s plans to cut ESA.
Now it’s up to MPs to hold fast to this decision, and vote the right way in parliament next week.
Can you email your MP telling them to do just that? You can use the template email provided, or write your own.
You don’t need to find contact details for your MP, that’s been done for you
Dear Ben Bradshaw MP
I live in your constituency and I am worried about benefit cuts for people with a disability. Please vote to protect the benefits disabled people need when the Welfare Reform and Work Bill returns to the House of Commons.
Figures recently released by Citizens Advice Exeter [formerly Exeter CAB] show that during the last quarter [ending 31 December 2015] there was a 22% in enquiries about Employment and Support Allowance [ESA].
One of the reasons is that ESA is a much harder benefit to claim than the previous benefit entitlement – Incapacity Benefit [IB]
This is primarily because the medical test – the work capability assessment – is very much harsher for ESA.
But it’s also because the assessment phase of ESA is supposed to last for 13 weeks, but for many claimants it lasts a lot longer.
I know that the House of Lords recently debated the Bill and voted by 283 to 198 to remove the cut to ESA from the Bill.
And that’s why I am emailing you now.
Hundreds of thousands of disabled people will lose out if these cuts become a reality.
I know these cuts will damage people’s health and chances of finding work.
I know 1 in 3 families with a disabled member already live in poverty.
And I know what people need is more help finding work, not less money to scrape by on.
Now that the Bill is returning to the Commons, I urge you as my MP to back Lords’ amendments 8 and 9 which scrap clauses 13 and 14 of the Bill.
A recent Review by three Peers – https://disabilitybenefitsconsortium.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/esa-review-december-2015.pdf – revealed the devastating impact the proposed cuts to ESA would have on disabled people; if you haven’t already, please read it before you vote on the Bill.
Please use your position as my MP to challenge these cuts and stand up for people with a disability. Please back Lords’ amendments 8 and 9 and scrap the cut to ESA.