MP who voted to cut disability benefits without understanding them reports ‘vicious’ threat to police

One of the memes that has upset Sir Alan Haselhurst. Whoever invented it seems to have got their facts right – which is more than HE can say.

Let’s make no bones about it: Sir Alan Haselhurst is quite clearly a bloody fool.

He supported the cut in ESA for claimants in the Work-Related Activity Group on the basis that it would get people – who are capable of it – off benefit and back into work. That’s ridiculous.

People on ESA are, by definition, not capable of work.

They aren’t on the benefit because their illness or disability is making it hard for them to find a job; they’re on it because they are too unwell to work.

The rules are perfectly clear. Being in the WRAG means the claimant is expected to be well enough to work within a year of their claim starting – but it doesn’t mean they can work now.

If that was possible, they would be on Jobseeker’s Allowance, not ESA.

Haselhurst has based his vote on a false premise.

In such circumstances, it is unsurprising that people have responded with anger. He should be apologising for making such a huge – and, frankly, unforgivable – blunder.

Conservative MP Sir Alan Haselhurst has called in police over the internet backlash which followed his vote for cuts to disability benefits.

The Saffron Walden Tory said pictures shared online known as memes, which highlighted his troubles in the MPs’ expenses scandal alongside his decision, were “vicious”.

Twitter and Facebook fury came after … true blue MPs … voted in favour of cuts to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) for people having difficulty finding a job because of a long-term illness or a disability.

Cuts to ESA will see new claimants from April next year losing £30 a week – from £103 to £73 – if they are judged to be disabled but fit enough to be classed in the “work-related activity group” (WRAG).

The change was forced through the House of Lords after the Government invoked “financial privilege” because of its “cost implications”.

This was despite opposition from the Disability Benefits Consortium, a group representing 60 charities.

Sir Alan said: “It’s motivated by the desire to get more people back into work who are capable of doing some form of work. We should be making a more active effort to make sure that there’s something they are able to do.

“The money is being spent in ways to get people back into work.”

Source: MP reports ‘vicious’ threat to police after vote to cut disability benefits | Herts & Essex Observer

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11 thoughts on “MP who voted to cut disability benefits without understanding them reports ‘vicious’ threat to police

  1. Mark Waters

    All I can say is that he has no clue of the extra expenses by being too ill to work, extra heating costs, extra help with normal household tasks you can no longer do, And if you have to purchase extra care to help you with personal care from an agency you have to pay 20% on top of it…..AS you well know Mike

  2. David

    A tory like Haslehurst complaining about the social media being vicious? Surely a case of the kettle calling the pot black?

  3. Jenny Hambidge

    Problem is by calling it the Work Related Activity Group the link between sickness /disability and the benefit has been broken. Especially for politicians most of whom never had a clue anyway let alone an understanding of the costs of long term sickness and disability or the fact that people in this group are unable to work because they are ill.

    Another point I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere is that when George Osborne said that the amount spent on Disability Benefits was rising/had risen significantly, had he counted in the exhorbitant amounts Appeals and reassesments -to say nothing of the Supreme Court bedroom tax Appeal by the Government ? I rather expect he has, because disabled people have not seen their incomes rise, and fewer people are getting full rates of pIP or other benefits.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I have seen your second point mentioned, but only on the social media. The lamestreamers are starting to pick up on our stories now, so it may appear in their pages at a later date.

  4. Barry Davies

    What an idiot the money is not being spent on getting people back into work it is being taken form those who can not work, all assuming that they managed to get past the draconian assessments in the first place. There are not enough jobs for the fully fit to be able t get jobs so just where are the disabled sick and incapacitated supposed to find work anyway?

  5. Jo

    Funny how Crabb and now this mp state more or less the same reason for voting in the cut to ESA. I wonder if someone from the DWP has been misleading mps in order to push the change through?

  6. mohandeer

    It also lacks any credibility in that many of the WRAG group have been taken out of the support group even though they have terminal or progressive diseases. They will not get better from Parkinson’s it’s a degenerative disease and therefore will not be able to work in a year’s time.

  7. Thomas

    Unless the social media made his address public, which might indeed get him beaten up or worse, complaining to the police is over the top.

  8. NMac

    Another Tory cretin who has no difficulty in understanding and claiming his own “benefits” in the form of expenses, which as I see it should be paid for out of his own salary.

Comments are closed.