Wednesday 11 January 2012


Today, peers will vote on whether or not to time limit Employment and Support Allowance. This is a short, bullet pointed briefing. 

Whatever else you do in you careers, the sick and disabled people of Britain beg you not to do this. 

-700,000 people with serious illnesses and impairments will be affected by this policy, many losing any right to an independent income.

-The means test is set at just £7,500 per year, meaning that a partner must support an unwell or disabled loved one if they earn more than this.

-Families already overwhelmingly living in poverty will lose £4661 per year. This is three times as much as higher rate taxpayers will lose in child benefit.

-This policy only affects working families and savers as it only applies to those who have contributed NI or have savings over £6000.

-It is a disincentive to work  and will only encourage families to break down

-It overwhelmingly affects the poorest most. The % impact falls from the highest in the 1st decile of earnings to the lowest in the 10th.

-It estimates that 60% will simply switch to income based ESA and not be affected.   Those individuals with low or no other income may apply for income-related ESA. However, it is expected that only 60 per cent of people losing their contributory ESA will be compensated by income-related ESA, even partially.

- The report concludes that 90% of those placed into the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) will be affected.

-ALL groups will lose income on average through this measure.

-It is based on an assumption that 50% of claims will be appealed!!! How are they able to go forward with a system this inaccurate?

-The government claims that 700,000 will be affected by the Time Limit - a figure previously hotly debated, ranging from 400,000 to 1 million. It is expected to cut benefits for those not fully fit for work by 1.2 billion per year.

- The government acknowledges, that this is a disincentive to work and may push couples into divorce or into giving up on work altogether. However, they admit that they have no idea how significant this will be.

-Even though they are still ill, those who do not qualify for income-related ESA will have to move onto the Work Programme.

-Almost half the contributory only ESA customers in the WRAG are aged 50 to 64, so the policy will impact on more people in this age group.  As a result the average loss in household net income for those aged 50 or over is slightly higher than for other age groups - precisely the group that will find it difficult to get back into work due to their age.  It is likely that a higher proportion of older recipients will not be eligible for income-related ESA and will see a loss in income.

 -Sick and disabled people with limited capability for work are conflated with jobseekers as ministers claim ESA must be brought into line with JSA.

-The government admit that 94% of those affected will not have found work by the end of the year. They also insist that it is irrelevant whether or not they have recovered.

-The government admit that there is only a possible indirect effect of increasing movement back into work for those affected, but state however, this effect is uncertain and has not been quantified.

-The only justification ministers have given for this policy is that "We can't afford it".

-People with serious, lifelong, and degenerative conditions will all be affected by this. People with MS, Cancer, Parkinsons, Bowel Disease, Kidney Failure, Heart Disease, Lung Disease, Schizophrenia, Bi-Polar and many, many more conditions will lose benefits, left in limbo until they are judged unable to do any kind of work at all.

-7,000 cancer patients will be affected by the one year time limit.

-However, people with heart disease, kidney failure, Parkinson’s, MS, Bowel disease, Schizophrenia, Bi-Polar, Cerebral Palsy, motor neurone disease and any other condition you could imagine may also lose all of their support after the year is up.

-While assessments are so flawed, a time limit will only compound an already desperate situation. 40% of rejected claims go to appeal and of those, up to 70% win with representation.

-The assessment system is so backlogged, that targets are already being missed, with many fewer people being assessed every week than intended. With the tribunal system also under so much strain due to the vast number of appeals and the work programmes warning that over 90% may miss targets for placing the sick and disabled in work, this is a system in crisis. A one year time limit may well be the final straw.

-Time Limiting will be retrospective. Those who have already been on contributory ESA for over a year, will find that their support stops in April.

-Despite this policy still being debated in the House of Lords. Ministers warned those who may be affected back in September by letter at a cost of £2.7 million.

-Possibly the most astonishing part is the claim that the Social Impacts did not need to be investigated, neither under the categories of Health and Well-being, Human Rights or the Justice System.

-The government admit that they did not consult with any external stakeholders prior to the Chancellor’s announcement in the House of Commons on 20 October 2010. They say it is only now that they have started to engage with both internal and external stakeholders.  (Oct. 2011)

-Most people in receipt of contributory ESA for more than a year are likely to be covered by the Equality 2010 disability definition and so these reforms have considerable significance for disabled people - those who are unable to work due to their health condition or disability.

Chris Grayling has said that assessments used to determine whether or not someone is "fit for work" or not are "Not money driven".  However, when asked if after one year these vulnerable sick or disabled people would have found work or even be fit for work he replied it…"is not about recovery times. It is not about a decision that 12 months is an appropriate time for recovery. These are people who have other means of financial support, so what we have sought to do in difficult times financially, and by taking tough decisions, hold the line on this difficult issue and do not accept the right hon. Gentleman’s amendments. We do not believe that financially we can do so.



I worked for nine years. I have a degree and nearly killed myself trying to forge a career in the face of terrible illness. In the end I had no choice. Working was killing me. Friends and family pleaded, begged even, but it took me a long time to accept that I could no longer work. Giving up on my hopes and dreams was the single hardest thing I ever had to come to terms with.

We had our own house for years - a beautiful beamed fisherman's cottage by the sea - but we had to sell it before it was repossessed, as our income fell from £46,000 a year to 21k a year. The equity we did manage to save is eaten away a little every month as we have to make up the shortfall in our income. But we are trapped. I can't work. More accurately, no-one will employ me.

My husband Dave is my carer and has to support us financially whilst coping with the trauma my illness brings into our lives and the lives of our children. Partners like Dave, who are carers too, often need to take lower paying jobs to look after us, jobs where they can work 9 to 5 and get time off at very short notice. Their careers suffer too.

I've lost count of the times people have urged him to give up work too, begged him to stop stretching himself so thin. Dave has had two breakdowns trying to hold our family together, but for him, working is the most important thing he can do for us. It gives him pride and it stops us all from feeling like total and utter failures.

For my family (and DWP estimates show that another 700,000 families like mine will be affected) the impact of losing that £388.45 a month will be devastating. We already live below the official poverty line and can't pay our bills.

Soon we will have no savings left and taking away £4,661 a year from us will mean we lose everything. As I mentioned, it is three times more than higher rate tax payers will lose in child benefit yet this is a cut that will affect some of the poorest households in Britain.

My family would end up costing the state 5 times more in total than we do now (around 26,000 a year) just because it will force us to give up on the idea of work. We never wanted it to be that way. We wanted to remain a working family. We wanted to pay our way, but the assessments failed us and successive "policies" failed us and now the cuts will fail us. This one policy alone - time limiting ESA for working couples or families  -will fail us so spectacularly that it will bankrupt us. We will become entirely dependent on the state for everything.

That's why our partners often keep working, despite it being 100 times harder than giving up. We don't want to become 100% dependent on the state.

Remember, this cut ONLY affects WORKING couples or families who have had the misfortune of someone becoming too ill to work.  It is a disincentive to work that goes against everything the coalition says they want to achieve.

I urge you all to reconsider time limiting ESA. 

Please send this briefing to Crossbench and Liberal Democrat Peers this morning. Here is an interactive map with contact details,-2.680664&spn=9.999969,28.54248


  1. It's so scary that the vote is today, but there is still time to email LibDem and Crossbench peers to ask them to support amendments designed to mitigate the damage of these proposals. The presence of Crossbenchers not aligned with any political party means that votes which went through on the nod in the Commons are very very close in the Lords. LibDems can be reminded that grassroots party members voted against time-limiting contributory ESA at their Annual Conference. I have put together a template email & list of email addresses here

  2. This is actually the reason I have never applied for ESA even though I am considered eligible - the last thing I wanted or needed was a sweeping determination of "eligible for work" and having everything cut until reality and reason would conclude the obvious six months or a year later. Taking the fight to the gov't on this as well today.

  3. New amendment on time-limited ESA from Crossbencher Baroness Meacher has just come through, supplementary to yesterday's Marshalled List.

    I think the Govnt is going to come unstuck on this one.

  4. Also remember the massive risk of abuse/violence at which this places disabled people. Imagine living with someone who has very subtly broken you down to the point where you're not sure who you are any more, not sure how to survive without them, regardless of how many times they degrade you, hit you, rape you, anything they like. Imagine (that's if you have to) how difficult it is to leave that situation. Now imagine how difficult it would be with no independent income *at all*. This plan will expose any single disabled people to predatory abusers, who are very far from being rare.

    Anyone in the Lords (and in Parliament) who does not oppose the time limit is actively supporting that situation.

  5. Lord German the lib dem speaker in the lords as produced a round robin email basically stating something has to be cut from the DWP budget as it has the largest budget!!!!!

    I'm also in the firing line to lose my benefit as my array of chronic conditions have left me unable to work after 30 years of employment. I've received ESA for 2 years so thats it for me as it stands.

    Oh well the fight goes on.

    Please Sue rest up

  6. I had a Work Capability Assessment a few months ago. Four weeks after I was discharged from a psychiatric ward, against medical advice. With a nurse who wasn't even trained in mental health.

  7. I am not disabled or ill, but I know that one day my partner will no longer be able to work because his back problems are only getting worse and he is facing the first of many surgeries on his back this year (Motorcycle accident last year).

    This potentially affects every person in the country and I will stand by you and tweet about this all day even if I lose every follower I have.

    I will also state that I used to be a tory supporter, after watching this government slowly dismantle this country piece by piece I can honestly say I will never vote for them again.

    These welfare reforms affect everyone, anyone can become unemployed, ill, get cancer, depression. The well should be fighting alongside you because one day we might need the very help you are fighting for.

    I support you 100% and although my contribution might not be much I will do my best to get the word out, I want to help.

  8. Brilliant briefing! Have emailed about 140 peers with it, with my endorsement of it. Also emailed over 60 peers with my comments on all aspects of the Bill etc.
    Bless you Sue. Sending you love.

  9. Very comprehensive! Without doubt CG's and IDS's strategy is top down, not bottom up - they have decided on a total welfare cost and are manipulating the rules to hit their 'target'. The philosophy (as my MP so sympathetically put it) is that you cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs, so the important issues described here are on this basis, acceptable collateral damage.

    On a more mundane point, the process for impact assessment requires the favoured option (12m)to be substantiated by evidence, usually that overall it is better than the alternatives. This IA fails this test and does not consider for example 18m, 24m etc. The only logic is that 12m is longer than 6m (the equivalent JSA limit) so count yourself lucky!

  10. 'Remember, this cut ONLY affects WORKING couples or families who have had the misfortune of someone becoming too ill to work'

    I was assuming it also affected people like me, single people who have savings over the limit. Is that not so?

  11. Jessie - that's right. It will hit single people with savings. That may not sound a big deal, but consider this. Suppose you have a house, you get sick, you sell your house, buy half to live in a flat in supported accommodation and the rest to pay the service charges. Without contributory benefits, you will have to use your savings to live off and over time the money you have put on one side to pay your service charges will go and you'll have to move into somewhere the state will fund with housing benefit with, maybe, some Direct Payments to cover the service element.

    I think the work done on behalf of disabled people in this campaign is absolutely fantastic, but as a single person I feel single people are rather being forgotten.

  12. The retrospection being applied is probably the biggest disgrace - the effective date is only a month or two away.

  13. Great briefing Sue. Emailed my 8 nearest peers, ran out of spoons. One auto-replied back to say he's out till 26 January - not very impressive!

  14. I just had a reply from Lord Avebury saying he'll be at Report this afternoon, looking to Govnt for concessions on ESA

  15. We keep being told there is no choice to welfare cuts because the country is broke. So why the announcemnt on HS2?. According to Full Fact, the £32.7 billion pricetag is only for constructing the network. The real cost, of proing rolling stock and operating costs will take this to £62.5 billion. All so businessman can spend 30 minutes less on a train.

    Yet time limiting money to those who have worked and saved in their hour of need is essential because it is unaffordable. Surely this is a breach of contract with the State. That if you pay National Insurance you will be eligible for certain cover in the event of illnesss or injury.

    If your NI contributions had been invested with a private company, you could sue, if they suddenly said We cannot afford to pay your claim because we are spending it on trains.

  16. Remember too that overall eligibility is based on NI contributions which themselves are assessed over an arbitrary time period.

  17. Here we go, the beginning of a human rights disaster, never seen outside of a third world country, started by a super rich government interested in only themselves. What is so scary is that yeh, they might be saving money right now, but when this really sets in, the cost to peoples lives and the family will be even greater.....and Cameron should be ashamed of himself having had a child who was disabled, just goes to show how out of contact he is with the rest of the world........

  18. Jessie, yes you're absolutely right.
    If you are single and have worked in a well paid job, you are likely to have savings.
    If these are above the limit then you will also be hit by this if you are in the WRAG.

    I don't know what to say to you about single people being forgotten. I worked on this campaign myself but am also single like yourself.

    We do stand to lose our savings and that is wrong. But I think that for most of us singletons our lives stand to be less disrupted than for some others. For most of us we will live off our savings for a while and then go back onto ESA, albeit a lot poorer. Others who are in relationships may never be able to return onto ESA. Their income will irrevocably be lower and they may really struggle. Relationships could become fraught. In the end partners may have to give up work in order to reaccess ESA and associated benefits and care. These are huge life changes in comparision.

    My own biggest fear from this is that I simply will no longer be able to afford to get married. I worked out that losing my ESA plus the fact that social services would withdraw a lot of my care will mean that any prospective partner would not be able to take me on. I would now be a burden rather than an equal partner. This is one of the things that is so wrong and to me is far far worse than losing money even when it is to the tune of thousands of pounds.

    However I may be biased given that I already had to lose money in order to access care from social services in the first place. The cut off for that is even more stringent where I live than for ESA.

    Being single and reliant on care or benefits will now mean that you can't have large amount of savings. Some may feel this is right. I feel it is a real disincentive to be responsible. Personally I should have spent my money like crazy when I was still working.

    What I AM concerned about within this is that no leeway is given for money put aside for large disability purchases such as an electric wheelchair. My own is 8 years old and so I know I need around £3000-£4000 aside for when it eventually breaks down and had made provision for it while I was still working. But no allowance is made for that and it is actually causing me problems at the moment. However right now I feel there are bigger battles to be fought. That one must wait for another day.

  19. We care for 2 disabled adult offspring. One has been placed on ESA (and we are appealing the placement into the WRAG group), the other has yet to be "assessed". Will the DWP take their father's income into account and apply the time limit?

  20. Why is is that a couple each earning just under 40,000 will still be eligible to claim child benefit, while a couple, one of whom is disabled and the other earning £7500 will not be eligible for ESA.

    I thought they said it would be too complicated to assess dual income families for child benefit purposes? So why is it possible to do so for the partner of someone sick?

    One healthy family can have an income of nearly £80,000 and get child benefit but a disabled family memeber means you can live on £7500?

    This legislation has more holes than a swiss cheese.

  21. we are living in a society where the lunatics are running the asylum. it's a self serving system that cannot continue and unfortunately the weakest in society are left to fall by the wayside. we need a new option for govt. one that is more equitable and works for the people not against them. i think there must be a case answerable in the european court of human rights against people like atos and the other cronies who seem to be determined to kill off the sick. atos should have arbeit macht frie as their company logo. it worked for the nazi's after all and they certainly are not far from that mark.

  22. the lords will calculate weather the 700.000 are worth it to the country they dont like sickness and they cant stand disabled people as they drive them mad and are a constant source of embarrassment out of sight out of mind is the way they think

    i just hope to god I'm wrong but as i have always maintained i know many of these lords amd mp's from the past and the way they think and for the life i cant see them changing their mind

    sue has done a great job of the highest order and will have saved many lives if she wins the day but my worry is what if she loses this battle what then

    well we will all be poor so nothing new their but our mental state may be shot like mine is how is one to cope when you may not have the help you need as and when you need it like i have

    This whole thing has played very heavily on my mind since it started but even i wont be able to stand the on going pressure if the death of the sick and disabled rises it will destroy me to a level of complete insanity

  23. temporally_loopy11 January 2012 at 17:51

    In case anyone thinks I am partisan in promoting one type of ESA over another, or one being more deserving than another - I'm really not.

    It just makes me laugh at the utterly ridiculous idea that the one type they wish to time limit is the contributory one. I suppose they think we have had our day (or many years) of being useful and if we're not back at the grindstone after 12 months we're not likely to contribute any more!

    I am sure there are others like me who are in a very strange position whereby, because they had PHI policy claim (permanent health insurance which pay them a proportion of their salary each month)which came into effect prior to the year 2000, they also had to claim incapacity benefit as part of that insurance claim.

    We were made to do this by the insurance companies as we are still in effect employed and the IB takes the place of statutory sick pay. The amount of IB is deducted from the insurance payment so I don't get "extra" money and don't have a choice in whether or not I claim it.

    However, because I am paid by my "employer" (I haven't seen them since 2000) I still pay tax and - yes, you've guessed it - national insurance, oh yes and get taxed on my incapacity benefit!

    Even before the idea of time limiting came in, no-one seemed to know what would happen once I was assessed for ESA (I haven't been yet); as they did not seem to think that my category of claimant existed. Obviously somewhere a department does know or they wouldn't be paying me IB charging me tax on it.

    Anyway - although I appreciate I am in a better position than many (and, believe me, am truly thankful for it) - I know I may still be affected badly by any cuts (DLA particularly)and am at the mercy (and whims) of a private insurance company as well as ATOS and the DWP for decisions on the money front.

    I find most things this (and the previous) government do are totally incomprehensible - I honestly thought that we had a fighting chance with disability benefits where David Cameron was concerned but we have most certainly been proved wrong.

    There seems to be an assumption in the political classes, which carries on into the general public, that anyone who is unable to work and claims any form of ESA/JSA/IB immediately gets housing benefit /income support/free prescriptions/dental care/eye tests/child benefit etc. (I appreciate child benefit is a separate issue but they seem to assume that everyone has children and therefore this benefit.)

    I do not expect special treatment - but I do expect fairness and MORE IMPORTANTLY that the people who make the decisions have actually bothered to take the time to understand the differences between the types of benefits they are discussing, the people the alterations will affect and the fact that not all the people who claim things like ESA/IB will also be automatically entitled to anything else.

    But I forget - "we are all in this together".

    Perhaps George Orwell was more accurate - "all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others"

  24. What news on how the vote went? Sorry been having a really bad day only just got online. My story is that after having to gove up work, I doscovered that I can't get income-esa as my husband works, and I can't get contributions esa coz although my NI record is fully covered in the 2 years they looked at (2009 & 2010), one year was for self-employed class 2 NI & the other was home responsibilities protection contributions, which (certainly the HRP) DO NOT count towards benefits, only state pension, so I get nothing financially, other than my NI comtributions paid, which again will NOT count towards future benefit claims!! I have both degenerative & fluctuating conditions, so if in the future I'm well enough & fortunate enough to find employment then have to reapply, I probably still won't qualify. The changes to DLA will mean that I'll probably lose that too when I'm reassessed in the near future, total loss of earning well over £8.000 I reckon & I have son who's just strted uni, he's getting very little support because his grants etc calulated on last tax years earnings. The added stress of caring for me has meant my daughter's health is starting to suffer too (she has the same condition as me) despite help from social services, but again council are making drastic cuts too so may lose that at any moment. and all this worry & insecurity is supposed to help me get better, when stress is the one thing guaranteed to make my condition far worse? Helpful, NOT!!

    That's why I'm backing this campaign - all I can do re-post on facebook & email MPs from my bed, in fits & starts. But I will help in any way I can to spread the message. HUGE thank yous to all of you who have sacrificed spoons & their health to get the spartacus report out there. I'm praying it tip the balance.

  25. What a relief and we know there is hope for humanity yet. Great work everyone. Sue, Kaliya and everyone else, be proud, relax and take care of yourselves. #spartacusreport

  26. It’s a HAT TRICK!

    Lord Patel's amendment to protect the automatic right of young disabled people who are unable to work to qualify for ESA has been carried, by 260 votes to 216.

    Extending the time limit for ESA benefit from one year to two. 234 in favour of the amendment, 186 contents against.

    Exempting cancer patients from Work Capability Assessments. For 222, against 166.

    A real kick in the teeth for the government and a personal humiliation for Lord Freud!!


  27. Any spanner in the works against what the Government wants on welfare is welcome but really these cahnges are cosmetic and haven't made much difference...

    Its great to see Cancer patients protected but those with varying long term conditions have still lost out and two years instead of one...its better but still going to cause worries for many.

  28. Nothing has been won, the basic reforms that were sorely needed have been done and long overdue, too many people expect tax payers to pick up the bill for everything and with the number of tax payers reducing year on year as people live longer, where does the money come from..

    Lets cut the crap, cut the waffle, this is the first sign disabled people have been treated like the regular people with cuts and changes in our services to stop the fakers, the scroungers and the overall annual cost and to help ensure those that truly need the financial support get it...

    ... and before anyone jumps on the flame war bandwagon, I have no political affilliation, I get the higher rate of DLA in respect of Mobility Allowance, I have worked all my life, pay taxes and if it means I get 20% less on my Mobility Allowance so that government spending is reduced overall, then I have to accept it if I want to be treated as an equal.

  29. Just heard Freud mention New sickness absence plan and googled and found this report published at the end of Novemember; I haven't had time to look it over yet and I thought everyone would be interested. (hopefully not another fight)

  30. I don't know if I should post on here, but I just discovered this blog and honestly, I am sat here crying reading it.
    That some people, some of the most vulnerable people, are making such time and effort to fight for the rights of all of us, is just wonderful, and I commend you.
    I am so sad that anyone is suffering, through the combinations of ill health and poverty, I must admit though that a part of me is glad to find other people in similar situation to myself.
    My story is that I have ongoing serious health problems, several, some physical, some mental.
    In 2007 I was forced to give up work due to my health. In the 6 months preceding leaving work I was admitted to hospital 5 times. At my yearly appraisal, when I broke down in tears about my manager told me to stop being such a negative thinker.
    I was devastated to leave work. I had a job I liked, and was good at, apart from my worsening health. I asked to go part time but it wasnt possible and so I left.
    In 2009 my partner, who was then supporting us mainly (I was on IB)became seriosuly ill with a physical health problem. It was so serious, and so fast, that he was forced to leave his work, due to the nature of his job.
    Since then, life has fallen apart for us.
    We went from being both full time workers on reasonable wages, to being relaint upon benefits. we try to look after each other but it is hard. I have been assessed for ESA now, weeks ago, but still not heard anything, and I am so stressed.
    The situation os terrible for us. Our home is in negative equity so we cannot afford to sell. My partner has attempted suicide 4 times in the last year. He was declared bankrupt a few weeks ago, around the same time as my ESA assessment. I fear that I may be forced the same way sometime soon.
    I do wonder at times if it would be better for everyone is we both ended it together. we feel that we are burdens, and the media hatred to the ill is horrendous, it colours peoples views, their thoughts of us, we feel we have no value as human beings.
    I am crying writing this. I am sorry for posting this, I don't really know what my point is.
    But I will not give up, not yet, I don't want to give this government what they want.

  31. temporally_loopy11 January 2012 at 22:27

    Anon @ 21:56

    Contributions based ESA was paid for by our national insurance contributions on the understanding that it would be there when we needed it.

    However, you mention your DLA and using your mobility allowance as an example, the government isn't suggesting that your payment is cut by 20%.

    The suggested 20% saving is what the government expect to cut from the total DLA budget by changing the way we are assessed. Our needs will not have changed but some who were perfectly entitled to, and needed, the money before will now get nothing - not 20% less.

    Until people are re-assessed under the PIP guidelines we won't know if we qualify or not so might go from being entitled to HRM to getting nothing not just a reduction.

  32. I have just found this blog after following the guardian today with the results. I wanted to say thank you so much for all of your work on the spartacus report, what your doing to help chronically ill and disabled people. I also have a chronic illness and am disabled.

    You shouldn't have to fight so hard and end up more ill yourself, its awful. But thank you.

    I am not on twitter. But I want to do something to help, to make people aware of whats going on. What can I do? Can you suggest how I can help?

    If my benefits were removed I would have nothing to survive on. Without my DLA I wouldn't be able to afford to eat as I cannot make meals myself.

  33. [QUOTE]AnonymousJan 11, 2012 12:04 PM
    It’s a HAT TRICK!

    Lord Patel's amendment to protect the automatic right of young disabled people who are unable to work to qualify for ESA has been carried, by 260 votes to 216.

    Extending the time limit for ESA benefit from one year to two. 234 in favour of the amendment, 186 contents against.

    Exempting cancer patients from Work Capability Assessments. For 222, against 166.

    A real kick in the teeth for the government and a personal humiliation for Lord Freud!!


    I regret to inform you the lords vote means nothing at all especially with David Cameron in charge

    yes it's a blow to lord fraud but he'll get over it as he is a multi millionaire and couldn't give a damn about the sick or disabled
    The government run the country and the lords are just a rich group of people who buckle if the going gets tough also behind the scenes the civil service dictate on what the DWP does or does not do and can operate and does to many people in a slap hazard fashion causing much misery and death year on year behind the scenes well out of the reach of the bbc and prime minister


    Please sign this petition ASAP!

  35. Hang-on ...when deciding on Child Benefit reform joint income is NOT considered, BUT ESA 1 Year Cap Joint Income IS....Let's have it one way or the other.


  37. This affects couples who have worked and both simultaneously become ill. One with early occ pension just above £7500 per year reducing Csupported ESA to £61 a week. The other trapped in WRAG and no notice given 365 days expired= no income. Not eligible for ESA income related either. Moved over to Carers allowance untill WRAG decision overturned or what ever. Both getting older and ms is degenerating fast but priced out of market for social care and DFG! Yep amazing this Gov say they will support the most vulnerable.......not!

  38. Although I too would be caught in this trap, I am still not sure which side to fall on other than to say if there is a limit, 12 months is not long enough. Money is tight and if expenditure has to be rationed, a sound method that is essentially means-tested is not in principle wrong as long as the levels are set sensibly. Clearly Alan Sugar doesn’t need a fuel allowance or indeed a state pension, but what about other health orientated welfare payments? Should he be allowed to claim 12 months contribution-based ESA or JSA?

  39. or indeed contribution-based benefits indefinitely?

  40. the goverment dont care about human rights thats why there did not look into the effects this would cause there are not bothered money is at the top of there agenda there are discriminating against the sick people there are the target the house of commons is full of filthy toffs that feather there own nest the goverment is failing bad and blaiming the people for there short cummings the system is deseased and it will spread and no one is immune everyone should be concerned english people are being lied to while the place brakes down slowly into more poverty less jobs and discrimination of those less fortunate, the goverment get enough taxes because there is no consessions there have to make in there high paid jobs and exspences they pay more for dinner speaches than we get in 2 weeks to live on they are not common people because common people are poor and the working class are now poor it is slowly shifting into slavery work harder for less with no human rights then revalution this country needs one then there will here our voice we are here and we will fight for our rights band together then the masses will win.