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Arguments By Government For ESA WRAG Cuts Left Baroness Campbell Lost For Words

March 9, 2016

Arguments made by the Government to justify sharp disability benefit cuts were so poor they left a peer lost for words, she has said.

Baroness Campbell told the House of Lords that “words failed me” when she had heard the Government’s justification for cutting Employment and Support Allowance by £30.

The peer, a former Commissioner of the Disability Rights Commission who herself uses a ventilator, is an expert in disability reform and the benefits system.

“Our arguments, in my view, were pretty indisputable, especially in regard to the absence of evidence that cutting severely disabled people’s ESA would incentivise them to work,” she said.

“I think we all know deep down inside that it is attitudinal and environmental discrimination that really prevents this group from accessing employment.”

The crossbench peer criticised arguments by the Government in support of the cut, which she said had allowed the “niceties of parliamentary protocol [to] trump the lives of disabled people”.

The Government argues that the sharp cut in weekly payments will incentivise disabled people to find work.

It also says because the cut involves money the House of Lords should not be able to block i

Lord Low, another crossbencher who had proposed the rejected amendment, accused the Government of using “a pseudo-constitutional technicality” to force the measures through and said it was “a black day for disabled people”.

Baroness Campbell continued: “I hope and I pray that we don’t look back on this day as the moment we pushed some of the most severely disabled people in Britain over the edge.”

The peers were discussing the issue in the House of Lords after the Government invoked “financial privilege” on the cuts – meaning the peers could not overrule MPs.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 9, 2016 9:33 am

    Reblogged this on Christopher John Ball and commented:
    After this latest ideological attack upon disabled people and carers from the Conservative Party, headed by our self styled champion David Cameron, it can be safely argued that, when it comes to writing the legacy of David Cameron, it will be written upon the gravestones of all the disabled people his damn policies have placed within! This is democide!

  2. Sarah Davis permalink
    March 9, 2016 6:28 pm

    This WILL push people over the edge. I belong to an ESA claimants Facebook page and yesterday there was a post in which quite a few people stated that they’ve been saving up their medication, knowing that this could happen, to give them a quick way out of this system which is now treating them with such disdain and making them feel so helpless. Well done Tory government. You will have much blood on your hands

    • March 9, 2016 6:30 pm

      Hi Sarah, could you please give me a link to the FB page you belong to? I’d like to blog the comments you mentioned. Thanks!

  3. March 10, 2016 10:32 pm

    what is the point of the house of lords? all policies practically, that this govt put through , are aimed at cutting money from vulnerable people. in one way or another. so if they are going to use that technicality, saying that because the cut involves money the House of Lords should not be able to block it, then it surely means they will now use this point to stop the house of lords from trying to stop these policies.. we have no chance with this lot.

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