160309IDS-ESAcuts

A petition demanding that the Conservative Government reverse its cruel and unwarranted £30-per-week cut in Employment and Support Allowance has gained nearly two-thirds of the number of signatures needed for a Parliamentary debate – in just three days.

ESA is the main income-replacement benefit for people with long-term illnesses and/or disabilities, and the cut affects people in the Work-Related Activity Group of claimants.

The petition text states: “The House of Lords has been unable to stop a planned £30-a-week cut to disability benefits forced through by Government MPs. This will cripple those in receipt of these benefits, leaving many in literal poverty.

“The government must reverse this decision. Lives are at risk.”

It needs 100,000 signatures within six months in order to be considered for a debate in Parliament. At the time of writing, the total stands at 63,037.

Alerting Vox Political to the petition and its popularity, commenter Debbie Smith wrote: “Vulnerable people are dying because of our government.

“If we do not fight this, they will keep going with their social cleansing and class warfare.

“Do you want to try and cross borders to escape a dictatorship?”

The petition may be found at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/124016.

You know what to do.

Additional: The £30-per-week cut was discussed on Channel 4’s The Last Leg on March 11, including an impassioned attack on Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, by disabled co-host Alex Brooker.

Be warned – there is some harsh language. But the show’s producers kindly put the clip on YouTube after This Writer requested it and so I’m presenting it here, in support of the petition:

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