Lobbying House of Lords to Stop Time-Limited ESA
Welfare Reform Act is now LawThe Welfare Reform Act received royal assent on March 8th 2012 and is now law. Not all measures will be introduced immediately. Most changes will come into force from 2013 to 2018. For the latest news on state benefits click here http://edyourself.org/articles/jobseekers.php
Disability campaigners have conducted a successful media campaign which received substantial attention with the publication of the Spartacus Report.
Email Addresses for Liberal Democrat PeersLord Addington Lord Alderdice Lord Allan of Hallam Lord Ashdown Lord Avebury Baroness Barker Baroness Benjamin Baroness Bonham Carter Baroness Brinton Lord Carlile of Berriew Lord Chidgey Lord Clement Jones Lord Cotter Lord Dholakia Lord Ezra Baroness Falkner of Margravine Baroness Garden of Frognal Lord German Lord Goodhart Lord Greaves Baroness Hamwee Baroness Harris of Richmond Baroness Hussein-Ece Lord Jones of Cheltenham Baroness Kramer Lord Lee of Trafford Lord Lester of Herne Hill Baroness Linklater of Butterstone Lord Loomba Lord Maclennan of Rogart Lord McNally Baroness Maddock Lord Marks Lord Methuen Baroness Miller Lord Newby Baroness Northover Lord Oakeshott Baroness Parminter Baroness Randerson Lord Rennard Lord Roberts Baroness Sharp Lord Shipley Lord Shutt Lord Smith Lord Stephen Baroness Thomas Baroness Tonge Lord Tope Lord Todoff Lord Tyler Lord Wallace of Saltaire Lord Wallace of Tankerness Baroness Walmsley Lord Willis
Email Addresses for Cross Bench PeersLord Aberdare Lord Adebowale Baroness Afshar Lord Alton Lord Armstrong Lord Best Lord Bichard Lord Bilimoria Lord Birt Lord Burns Lord Butler Baroness Butler Sloss
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Lobbying to Stop Time-Limited ESA ARCHIVE JANUARY 2012
UPDATE Amendment Passed in the House of Lords 7pm January 11th 2012
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/lbill/2010-2012/0114/amend/ml114-iii.htm Amendment 38 moved by Lord Patel resulted in a defeat for the Government. See Lords Division results here http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/business-papers/lords/lords-divisions/
DISABILITY LIVING ALLOWANCE WILL DECIDED ON TUESDAY JANUARY 17TH. PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
LinksDisability Alliance Briefing for House of Lords December 2011 (4 pages) http://www.disabilityalliance.org/dbcclause51.pdf
Sue Marsh Disability Campaigner
Guardian article on time limiting ESA
Broken of Britain time limiting ESA template letter
IntroductionThe Welfare Reform Bill is going through its last stages in the House of Lords. There is a last chance to change to stop proposals to end contributory ESA if Liberal Democrat and Cross Bench peers vote in favour of - or abstain from voting against - opposition amendments to Clause 51 at Report on January 11th. While the Welfare Reform Bill as a whole has proved extremely controversial this particular clause has been widely condemned and the Liberal Democrats passed a motion to oppose arbitrary time-limited Employment Support Allowance at their Annual Conference.
To Include in Email to Peers
As you will be aware, Report stage of the Welfare Reform Bill resumes today. Amendments have been tabled by Lord Patel and Lord McKenzie to Clause 51 to mitigate the harm caused by ending time-limited contributory Employment Support Allowance as follows: Page 36, line 34, leave out "365 days" and insert "a prescribed number of days which must be at least 730"
I am writing to ask you to join with Labour on this issue and vote to support the amendment to Clause 51. The Briefing from the Disability Benefits Consortium has the following to say:
"DBC opposes the time-limiting of ESA in principle. However, we recognise the importance to find a compromise that will allow the Government to make savings while protecting the most vulnerable by giving sick and disabled people a more realistic amount of time to make the journey back to employment. 12 months is simply not long enough. We therefore encourage peers to support the amendment, which would allow a time-limit, of not less than two years, to be brought in through regulations. Discretion would be allowed to grant a longer period according to someone’s ability to return to work."
As you will be aware, Liberal Democrats members voted to oppose an arbitrary time limit on ESA at their Annual Conference last Autumn.
If this clause becomes law, claimants in the Work-Related Activity Group will lose entitlement to contributory ESA after a year and claimants who have already been receiving the benefit for more than a year will have it stopped immediately. Instead, claimants will only be entitled to means-tested benefits which are based on joint household income and are not available to claimants living with partners earning over £7,500 a year.
The stated justification for the policy is "to ensure that ESA is paid for a temporary period thereby creating a culture that does not allow people to stay permanently in the WRAG, that they are expected to move towards work or into the Support Group if there is deterioration in their functional impairment."
Disabled people will be told that they can make a claim for Jobseeker's Allowance, but claimants are unlikely to be able to fulfil the requirements of the JSA regime, which will result in benefit being withdrawn for non-compliance. Moreover, JobCentres are not able to offer the necessary support to jobseekers with serious physical and mental health conditions so the move to JSA will have the opposite effect to that which is intended.
The Government's Impact Assessment shows that 700,000 people with serious illnesses and impairments will be affected by this policy. Claimants in the Work Related Activity Group include people with multiple sclerosis, cancer, Parkinsons, kidney failure, heart disease, lung disease and serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia.
Disability Alliance Briefing on ESA for House of Lords December 2011 (4 pages)
3rd Marshalled List of Amendments published Jan 10th
DWP Impact Asessment on ESA Time Limit
Rhydian Fon James 1 page written submission to Work and Pensions Select Committee Enquiry
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