Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/863/21051
From The Socialist newspaper, 8 July 2015
ESA under the cosh
The Tories intend to slash Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) by almost £30 a week. ESA, which replaced incapacity benefit in 2008, is paid to disabled people or those too ill to work who have extra needs.
ESA claimants in the Work Related Activity Group (Wrag) currently get £28.75 a week more than Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA). The government will reduce this to just 50p a week more.
To qualify for ESA, claimants must go through a work assessment interview, previously carried out by the disgraced Atos company. There can be three outcomes: You could be found fit for work and told to claim JSA. You could be found to have limited capability for work and put in Wrag. Or you could be put in the support group.
Thousands either denied benefit or put in the wrong group have had their decisions overturned on appeal.
However, you can't claim benefit while the Mandatory Reconsideration is being made, so claimants are driven into absolute poverty, forced to go to charities just to get vouchers for food.
Additionally, someone on ESA or JSA can also receive housing benefit. However, if it is stopped, housing benefit also stops, with the threat of homelessness.
The Department for Work and Pensions advice is to claim JSA in the meantime. However, to claim JSA means that the claimant is admitting that they are looking for and capable of work - and therefore ineligible for ESA!
Osborne's welfare axe:
- Massively cut working tax credits to millions of families
- Slash Employment and Support Allowance for sick and disabled people
- Freeze benefit rates for the next two years
- Reduce the benefits cap by thousands of pounds a year
- Charge market rents to tenants in social housing earning above the average salary
- End full housing benefit for low income households
- Axe entirely the limited housing benefit to unemployed 18 to 21-year olds
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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
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In The Socialist 8 July 2015:
International socialist news and analysis
Greece: Mighty class-based 'NO' shakes bosses' EU
Socialist Party news and analysis
Cuts for us, handouts for rich
Terrorism and classroom spying
Janner case: more establishment child abuse cover-ups
Stop hammering low-paid - £10 an hour now!
ESA under the cosh
Low-income tenants face rent hikes
Them & Us
Socialist Party features
NSSN conference 2015: "We could stop austerity in its tracks"
Migrants flee horrors created by capitalism
Socialist Party workplace news
Hospital porters mop up in NHS pay battle triumph
Tube union: why we're striking
Britain's biggest union could reconsider funding Labour after leadership elections
Education under attack! Reports from the front line of the fightback
Yorkshire firefighters demonstrate against crew cuts
Workplace news in brief
Socialist Party campaigns
Socialist Party LGBT group plans fightback against attacks and austerity
Bitter fight to save Bitterne walk-in centre continues
Scotland and North-West England hold TUSC conferences
Socialist Party comments and reviews
Why I joined: 'the Socialist Party has given me political confidence'
TV review: Picasso - Portillo's peculiar perspective
The Socialist 8 July 2015 |
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