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.
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