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From The Socialist newspaper, 8 July 2015

ESA under the cosh

Photo Paul Mattsson

Photo Paul Mattsson

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:

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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


 

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Related links:

Benefits:

triangle1,600 less benefits if your job goes - while super-rich splash cash

triangleBenefits system being used to force return to unsafe workplaces

triangleOver 30% of children living in poverty

triangleUniversal Basic Income: not a solution to insecurity and poverty under capitalism

triangleFight for safety, staffing and services - Covid chaos for benefits claimants

ESA:

trianglePCS union demands better deal for benefits claimants

triangleEnd "poverty, ill health and despair":a benefits adviser speaks out against the cuts

triangleDWP to outsource more work to Capita

triangleCanterbury Socialist Party attends 'I, Daniel Blake' film night

JSA:

triangleWorse off than our parents

triangleBenefit sanctions ruin lives

triangleThe Con-Dems' Machiavellian cuts

Housing:

triangleUnite: elect fighting socialist reps

triangleThe Socialist inbox

Disabled:

triangleCall for an increase in PIP due to Covid-19

Employment and Support Allowance:

triangleUniversal Credit could trap women in violent relationships

Incapacity:

triangleMy struggle for an income I can live on

Welfare:

triangleEven social-care bosses say cuts have gone too far

Atos:

triangleThem & Us

Unemployed:

triangleLeicester Socialist Party: Universal Credit - Universal Misery

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