Proof that new Work and Pensions secretary does not understand his new job

Someone should have told Stephen Crabb that disability is not all fun and games [Image: His Facebook page].

Someone should have told Stephen Crabb that disability is not all fun and games [Image: His Facebook page].

More evidence has emerged that Stephen Crabb could be a worse Work and Pensions secretary than the last creep.

In a Facebook post published in March, he claimed that his constituency office had been vandalised by people who were outraged that he had voted to support the £30-per-week cut in Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) payments for people in the Work-Related Activity Group (WRAG).

He went on to claim that people in the WRAG “are able to work”.

What a mistake to make!

People in the WRAG are most certainly not able to work! If they were able to work, they would not be receiving the benefit. The rules are very clear.

The group is supposed to be for people who are not able to work, but whose conditions may improve in the future, enough for them to return to a job. The DWP therefore demands that they undertake activities intended to make them ready for that day.

Crabb seems to have mixed ESA with Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and its replacement, Personal Independence Payment (PIP). These are the benefits that are intended to help people with disabilities continue living as normal a life as possible, including helping them hold down a job.

It is terrifying to think that a future Secretary of State for Work and Pensions voted to cut benefit payments because he did not understand how they work.

A decision was taken by MPs to change the benefit awarded to a specific group of people who receive Employment Support Allowance. These people are in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) and they do have a disability or illness but are able to work.

The overwhelming majority of people in this group say they want to work, and so I think it is right that we do all we can to help them get back into work.

The truth is that not all disabilities prevent people from working. A great many disabled people get enormous fulfilment from being in work.

Source: Stephen Crabb – A few days ago my constituency office was… | Facebook

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13 thoughts on “Proof that new Work and Pensions secretary does not understand his new job

  1. NMac

    He had no difficulty in understanding how to claim thousands of pounds in parliamentary expenses in order to refurbish a flat in London, sell it at a profit and then “flipping” his second home from the London flat to his main family residence in Wales and designating a room in another MP’s flat as his main residence. He certainly understands how to “fiddle” the expenses system for his own greedy benefit. He appears to be just another nasty, corrupt and selfish Tory.

  2. mohandeer

    58% of all Assessments declaring disabled people applying for or renewing ESA “fit for work” are overturned in the courts. Which effectively means that his glib statement from figures he presumably pulled from thin air, and for which he must be asked to produce, and be accountable for, are false.
    He starts his new job with a false premise:
    “The overwhelming majority of people in this group say they want to work, and so I think it is right that we do all we can to help them get back into work.”
    58% IS an “overwhelming majority” – in complete contradiction of his claim, since the other 42% obviously would not have fought for ESA if his statement had been true. The other factor to note, is that many people in the WRAG are being forced to comply with unpaid workfare and therefore a job that they were being paid for would be preferable to the unpleasant state of affairs they find themselves in. They now earn the same as Job Seekers Allowance and don’t have the funds to aid them with their disabled needs.
    Great. We now have a new Works and Pensions Secretary already on record as either totally misunderstanding the situation or totally misrepresenting it.
    Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse. This from a man who thinks people can be cured of being “gay”.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Much as a hate to side with a Tory, Crabb is right to say most people on ESA want to work. They do.
      The fact is that they are too ill to do so.
      While 58 per cent of ESA appeals are successful, not everybody appeals against the decision to put them into the WRAG. I don’t have the exact percentage to hand but hopefully somebody reading this will.

  3. Samuel Miller (@Hephaestus7)

    The new Work & Pensions Secretary, Stephen Crabb, must also reverse the ESA (WRAG) cut, which is far more life-threatening than the PIP cut.

    • Almost 7 in 10 (69%) disabled people surveyed say cuts to ESA will cause their health to suffer.

    • Almost half (45%) of respondents say that the cut would probably mean they return to work later.

    • A third (28%) surveyed say they can’t afford to eat on the current amount they receive from ESA.

    • 40% of respondents have become more isolated and less able to see friends or family after their ESA was withdrawn or reduced.

    Stephen Crabb must send a clear and unequivocal message to George Osborne that severe budget cuts, which leave sick and disabled people struggling for survival, will not be tolerated by the DWP.

    I am considering writing him about the ESA (WRAG) cuts but first want to confirm whether he has told the House of Commons that the cuts to PIP have been abandoned.

    The outrage over the PIP cuts is understandable because it is impossible to justify cutting the benefits of disabled people for the sake of funding a tax cut for the middle class and wealthy. But the ESA (WRAG) cuts are far more pernicious because they will leave sick and disabled people struggling to meet their subsistence needs—and the 30% cut in benefit may even drive them to suicide.

  4. flofflach

    he’s my MP – I told him last week, before he got his new job, in reply to him saying WRAG was fit for work that that wasn’t the case. He obviously didn’t believe me.
    He thinks that the money taken from ESA will help people get back to work
    “so future claimants will receive the same rate of benefit as those on JSA, whilst the Government will provide new funding to give additional support to claimants seeking employment.”
    AND he doesn’t seem to know about PIP not serving as many people as used to get help and doesn’t seem to know that people are losing their motibilty and access to work and losing their jobs.:
    “Please be assured that the Personal Independence Payment will continue to provide for the extra costs of living that disabled people face. Those with the most severe work-limiting disabilities will continue to receive the additional Support Group rate as well. This is alongside the support provided by the Access to Work Mental Health Support Service and the Fit for Work service, which helps those with a mental health condition who are absent from work or finding work difficult”

    1. pozzywonka

      It just goes to show how our MP’s are voting to make decisions on matters things they do not even understand while they are supposed to be representing us – what a dysfunctional system is that! ??

  5. Brigitte

    Brigitte Gallagher I wonder if Stephen Crabb has any idea of the torment that we as disabled people go through on a daily basis, one day feel great and able to do more, the next can barely get out of Ben let alone out of the front door to a job where you wouldn’t normally be misunderstood and feel quite inferior to those around you who are ‘normal’ , does he think that we as disabled people wish to be the way we are NO I would give anything to be ‘normal’ and go about my business without having to think of all the equipment I need to get about, without the fear that grips me, as I try to smile and act as ‘normal ‘ as possible without feeling embarrassed by my disability and dreading each day, and then to hear that you probably won’t be getting enough money to sustain yourself because of cuts its all so frightening, especially when you don’t have the will to fight back, and you don’t feel like you want to go on anymore as life just gets harder and harder. I would not wish what I have on anyone not even Stephen Crabb, but I do wish he was more empathetic towards disabled people and perhaps could just sit for a moment and try to imagine what it must be like for the majority of us, then maybe he would have some compassion. HE should give up his job to a disabled person!!!!!!!! They would at least be able to relate to us, the last job I was in I was extremely aware of my problems and drawbacks, it caused me to completely to withdraw into myself. I started having panic attacks not very nice if you have ever experienced one, I was eventually told by my supervisor that maybe it was not the job for me and to consider leaving. Which after a long thought and fight to go on I eventually gave it up………. My previous job I was made redundant and my manageress kindly told me that maybe I should forget about working and stay at home!!!!!!! How demoralising!!! I feel hopelessly depressed and ten times worse for trying to work than just accepting my flaws and the fight has gone out of me I just can’t go on!!!! I have given all I’ve got to try and survive the workplace but found that to be mind bending and frightening with not much empathy or understanding. I barely understand my own disorder. How can I expect someone in the workplace to understand it.!!!! It’s called Nuroleptic Chorea, a movement disorder along with depression and severe anxiety disorder, as much as I would love to be able to work and be independent. Please would someone out there tell me how???????

  6. Terry Davies

    no surprise here Crabb is a moron doing everything and anything to escape his background. During hippy days within the drugs fraternity he would be known as a hustler. This is why he accepted the poisoned DWP chalice. He’s probably hoping like a rat to desert the sinking ship.
    from his perspective it assures his family get 24 hour police protection at taxpayers expense. If their not getting this now they will be soon!!!!

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