Crabb was justifying to his Pembrokeshire constituents why he voted with the government earlier this month for a £30 a week reduction in benefit that will affect 500,000 ESA claimants in the work-related activity group (Wrag).
He wrote on Facebook– less than two days before he was appointed welfare secretary – that the Wrag cut only affected people who were “able to work”, and that the reduction, coupled with specialised employment coaching, would help them get a job.
He added: “Any disabled person who is unable to work due to ill health or disability is in the support group of ESA. They are wholly unaffected by the change, as only those who are fit to work and actively seeking work are included in the work-related activity group.”
Campaigners said the Wrag consists of ill and disabled claimants who have been found not fit to work following an official work capability assessment, but who are deemed to be capable of working at some point in the future.
This Writer particularly likes the comment from Jonathan Portes:
Jonathan Portes, an economist at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, said: “At best Stephen Crabb’s statement displays gross ignorance. He voted to cut benefits to people who have been placed into the work-related activity group – that is, people who the government’s own tests show are not currently fit for work and cannot now be expected to work.
“He then justified this vote to his constituents by claiming the precise opposite – in other words, with an outright falsehood. It is to be hoped that he educates himself very quickly indeed about how the benefit system actually works.”
That’s right – Stephen Crabb has begun his tenure as Work and Pensions secretary with a lie.
This does not bode well for the future, although it is par for the course.
Source: Stephen Crabb under pressure over support for cut in disability aid | Politics | The Guardian
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Crabb: typical ignorant modern tory.
Crabb is a chancer who would sell his grandmother for a photo shot. or more money. Have spoken to many of his constituents. not one has a favourable word for him and its clear that he had links with Bryn Parry Jones at best incompetent and worst corrupt, with the dubious distincton of the most hated and distrusted head of pembrokeshire council.
Is it any wonder the voting public are clueless about the reality of life for the sick and disabled, and 24% of them were happy to destroy the lives of their fellow citizens, when they are fed blatant misinformation, by their Members of Parliament?
Crabb responded to questions about his voting record, by saying that it was right to reduce payments to certain ESA claimants, because the group affected were the claimants who had been found fit for work.
The truth is the exact opposite.
They are the people, who even the government’s stringent assessors have declared unable to work at this time.
The most generous interpretation of his statement, is that Crabb himself was confused or ill-informed about how the ESA assessment system works, and said what he genuinely believed to be true.
But even that is shocking, because it shows that he is oblivious to the conditions facing a large segment of his own constituency, and the country as a whole.
Apologists will declare “It’s not his fault; he can’t be expected to know the ins and outs of the benefits system, especially if it’s not a payment he has personal experience of.”
But he SHOULD understand the benefits system. He is a representative for people who DO claim this allowance, and depend on it for their survival.
IT IS HIS JOB to understand it, and how it affects them.
His lack of knowledge reflects the common belief, that disability issues are a peripheral concern, a minor area of interest; that only people suffering from illness and disability, or their carers, need to educate themselves about the rules and regulations.
That disabled people are a side issue, to be kept out of sight, out of mind, locked away, so they don’t upset the ‘normal’ people.
And that condescending attitude STINKS.
He SHOULD understand the National Insurance system, into which many of these people will have ALREADY paid, throughout their working lives, and even if they haven’t ever been able to work, that the whole point of NI and the NHS, was to ensure everyone was covered, regardless of ability to pay, and to spread the cost between all citizens, so no-one would ever be reliant on the uncertainty of charity.
And that, until Thatcher’s Conservatives broke the bipartisan agreement, that had run from 1945 to 1979, and began labelling all NI claimants as ‘scroungers’, ‘malingerers’ and ‘dolescum’, the vast majority of the public supported the aims of the NI, and did not begrudge their payments helping people in need, as they knew the time would come when they would need help from future taxpayers.
National Insurance is exactly that. An insurance fund, that should be protected, nurtured, and grown, to cover the needs of the whole country.
It is not a slush fund, to be raided, to give bribes to wealthy corporations and high earners, many of whom increase the burden on society, by their tax avoidance and refusal to pay a meaningful wage.
And any politician who treats it as such, should be hounded from office.
It is not a good start, for Mister Crabb.
Excellent. What an eloquent, accurate and fair comment. It covered everything that bothers me about this government – particularly the new tory robot. I would never have been able to put it into words in such a way
‘Educate himself about how the benefits system works’. I believe that all tory mps should be given compulsory courses on this before they are allowed to vote on such important matters, rather voting the way they do because of their prejudices against the sick and disabled.
Crabb is just another self-serving dishonest Tory hypocrite who lectures us with his false morals, and at the same time fiddles his expenses regarding first/second home switching and claims for refurbishment.