Put the fair into welfare
Help stop cuts to support for people like Lynn
We’re urgently calling on the government to stop the proposed cut to Employment Support Allowance. This cut would mean a £125 a month loss in income for people like Lynn, who – following a breast cancer diagnosis - received the work-related activity element of ESA.
“When I was ill, I had to give up work for a year. I couldn’t work – the chemotherapy knocked me for six and I just wanted to sleep all day. It was horrendous. I couldn’t pay my mortgage, my council tax. I thought I was going to lose the house. Then I got Employment Support Allowance.
If they cut the ESA, that would just be absolutely horrendous. I would hate to have had that done to me. Without it, we would have been homeless.”
Lynn is now back at work. But for many people with cancer who are too sick to work, Employment Support Allowance is a lifeline – one that the government is proposing to cut for new claimants from 2017 in the work-related activity group under the Welfare Reform and Work Bill.
On 27 January 2016, the House of Lords voted to try and block the government’s proposed cut. This is a huge step forward for our campaign, but now we urgently need MPs to support their proposal. Tell your MP to stop this cut.
What's the issue?
Despite recent commitments to protect the most vulnerable people in society, the government is proposing to cut £125 a month for some people receiving Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).
Macmillan believes this cut will hit people at a time when they are already facing increased financial hardship as a result of their cancer. Reducing their income will only put them under additional financial pressure and could be detrimental to their wellbeing at a time when they should be focusing on their recovery and rebuilding their lives.
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is designed to support people who have been medically assessed as being too sick to work. It is an essential support for many people affected by cancer who are of working age. If the Welfare Reform and Work Bill is passed, the cut will apply to all new claimants in the ESA work-related activity group (WRAG) from April 2017 and will affect thousands of people who are ill and have been deemed unable to work.
The government says that cutting the amount people receive on ESA WRAG will encourage them to return to work by providing a financial incentive. But people receive ESA WRAG because they are too ill to work. They don’t need a financial incentive.
Agree this is unfair?
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We need to act fast. The Lords have voted for an amendment which would remove the £125 cut to ESA WRAG from the Welfare Reform and Work Bill.
The Bill is now set to return to the House of Commons for MPs to vote on. We only have a short time to persuade MPs to vote to support the Lords and remove the cut from the Bill. Email your MP today.
No one should face cancer alone. Together we can ensure that all cancer patients are financially supported while they are too ill to work.