National disability charity, Sense, has called on the government to halt its proposed cuts to Employment Support Allowance (ESA), welcoming a report from The Work and Pensions Select Committee that found there was little evidence that lower payments would motivate disabled people to find work.
The Work and Pensions Select Committee said cuts in disability benefits should be delayed until the government clarifies how it will support those in need of extra money. The allowance is set to be reduced from £102 to £73 per week from April.
Richard Kramer, Deputy Chief Executive at Sense, said:
“ESA cuts will be incredibly damaging to disabled people. Instead of providing an incentive to work, income reduction will simply make life harder for many people already struggling to get by.
If the Government is going to deliver on its pledge to halve the disability employment gap by 2020, they have to focus on providing disabled people with better access to specialist employment support, and work with employers to ensure working environments provide reasonable support and flexibility.
We hope the government will take notice of today’s report and listen to the concerns of disabled people who are being put under unnecessary stress and anxiety by the proposed cuts.”
Sense is currently campaigning for greater employment equality for disabled people. They recently released the ‘Realising Aspirations for All’ report, which revealed that ineffective employment support programmes are a major barrier to deafblind people seeking employment. The report also highlighted that young deafblind people are some of the most marginalised jobseekers in the country, with only one in ten currently in employment.