Copeland MP Jamie Reed has voted against a Government proposal to reduce the income of ill or disabled people in receipt of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), in the Work Related Activities Group (WRAG).
The proposal, as contained in the Government’s Welfare Reform and Work Bill, would reduce the amount paid to individuals in receipt of ESA WRAG, to the same rate as Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA). The ESA is paid to an individual if they are ill or disabled, and those in the WRAG are considered unable to work, but may be able to work in the future. The proposal would see those affected, including people with cancer and Parkinson’s disease, facing a reduction from £102.15 to £73.10 per week.
The House of Lords recently amended the Bill to remove provision for the reduction forcing the Government to revisit their decision, but despite widespread opposition, the Government pressed ahead to cut the support of seriously ill and disabled people.
Jamie Reed pledged to support ill and disabled people in West Cumbria and across the UK and voted to maintain this support. The Copeland MP has campaigned tirelessly on this issue, having written to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on behalf of his constituents urging him to scrap the proposal, and by tabling Parliamentary Questions to highlight the affect of the reduction on recipients including people recovering from Cancer.
Copeland MP Jamie Reed said:
“That the Government have pressed ahead with this cruel and unnecessary proposal, which could affect many of my ill and disabled constituents is nothing short of shameful. The Government’s actions will have a major impact on many vulnerable people who are suffering from serious illness.
“Over 1500 people in West Cumbria could be affected by the proposal, that’s higher than the national average.
“We must work to protect our most vulnerable constituents, rather than reducing their income. That’s why I voted to scrap this cruel measure from the Welfare Reform and Work Bill.”