INCAPACITY BENEFIT CUTS: People need a living income

PUBLISHED: 11:24 26 February 2009 | UPDATED: 08:54 02 June 2010

BY 2015, the New Labour government aims to reduce by one million the 2.7 million people who are presently claiming Incapacity Benefit. These are people whom the medical profession and, up to now, the Department of Work and Pensions deem too ill or disable

BY 2015, the New Labour government aims to reduce by one million the 2.7 million people who are presently claiming Incapacity Benefit.

These are people whom the medical profession and, up to now, the Department of Work and Pensions deem too ill or disabled to work.

Incapacity Benefit has already been replaced by Employment and Support allowance (ESA) for new claimants from October 2008.

All current Incapacity Benefit claimants will be pushed onto ESA between 2010 and 2013. The government predicts 260,000 of these will be forced to look for work.

These claimants face a cut in their already inadequate Incapacity Benefit, currently between £63.75 and £84.50 a week, onto Job Seekers' Allowance (JSA) at just £60.50 a week.

The PCS union has already come out strongly against the welfare proposals, not least because its members in Job Centres are struggling to cope with the increasing numbers claiming JSA.

The trade unions should campaign to make sure that the unemployed and those unable to work have a living income, along with the necessary training and support to return to work when and where this is appropriate.

JOHN SMITHEE

Kingsley Avenue

Wisbech


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