Zac Goldsmith defends voting for disability benefit cuts | Richmond and Twickenham Times

Unrepentant: Zac Goldsmith [Image: Getty].

Unrepentant: Zac Goldsmith [Image: Getty].

This mealy-mouthed attempt at self-justification comes courtesy of a Vox Political commenter. Cheers!

Zac Goldsmith has defended his decision to vote for cuts to disability benefit, after being forced to step down as patron of a Richmond charity.

The Richmond Park MP was asked to resign from his role of patron to Richmond Advice and Information on Disability (Richmond AID) after voting for cuts which could mean £1,500 less a year for those claiming the benefits.

He resigned as patron on Thursday after the charity’s chief executive Lucy Byrne criticised him for approving measures that would have a “severe and detrimental impact on the lives of disabled people.”

Mr Goldsmith said the philosophy behind the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) was that people are best helped by being enabled to get back into work.

The Conservative mayoral candidate said: “It is not just simply a cut, there is a new government fund which will be up to £100m which is specifically to help people get back to work.

“The concerns that have been brought to me by individuals are that people might be deemed fit to work when they are not fit to work.

“That comes down to definitions and it also comes down to local MPs, as with all these policies you can have a sound principle but it can have unforeseen consequences in practice.

“The job of the MP is to speak to the government and make sure that people who aren’t fit to work aren’t classified as fit to work.

Source: Zac Goldsmith defends voting for disability benefit cuts after being forced to step down from charity (From Richmond and Twickenham Times)

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23 thoughts on “Zac Goldsmith defends voting for disability benefit cuts | Richmond and Twickenham Times

  1. Starry4

    The MPS have been told over and over by the House of Lords what the cuts will mean. Many great statements by the Peers pointing out the reality of the cuts.

    Goldsmith is just another who either got the wrong (doctored?) brief, or didn’t bother to look up what the ESA WRAG definition is.

    The Tory MPs will not pay any attention to anyone who points out their nazi agenda is killing people.

    I fear that Attendance Allowance may be cut or abolished too, so people in PIP reaching the age when it stops and they move onto AA is something that needs looking into.

    So the poorer pensioners will be hit, but I bet they don’t touch the rich ones.

    All Tory MPs must have been hypnotised by McKenna to just spout the tory mantra, work, work, work pays blah blah…..as they all say that anytime they are interviewed about ANYTHING.

    They all speak as if they are in some Cult…….erm I suppose they are.

  2. Terry Davies

    goldsmith has not resigned as an MP yet. Constituents can help by not supporting him or any tory. remember the holocaust YOU or a friend or ageing relative may be next affected by this tory voting for his own self interest. Dont vote for any tory.

  3. John

    Assuming this is a reliable source, there are a few points he makes, that I simply don’t understand. For a start, I don’t know what this ‘fund’ he refers to is….. but then I wouldn’t know that anyway.
    The biggest sentence for me, that gives concerns is “The concerns that have been brought to me by individuals are that people might be deemed fit to work when they are not fit to work.” 1) How long has he been an MP for? (I didn’t even know he WAS an MP) 2) He uses the word “might”, but people HAVE been passed fit for work, when they’re not, and this HAS been going on now, seemingly for ages(years?).
    There is other ‘odd’ stuff as well, and perhaps I’m being unfair on the man, but from the full article it does seem that he’s had his head in the clouds for a while?

  4. Tim

    It’s always the same old story: We’re going to cut your money but spend more to get you into work. (Despite the fact that the Work Programme got less than one in ten of it’s disabled participants into some kind of job.) What a scam. Fancy saying that taking money away but increasing help and support to enter the workforce is the “across the board” solution to disabled poverty.

    Why do the poor always end up paying for “help” and “support” that does them little or no good and in some cases does great, even fatal, harm?

    Bonkers.

    1. lanzalaco

      1 in 10 is actually pretty good result. The real question is the breakdown from that. were they going to find something to do under permitted work or self employed with disabilities anyway.

      1. John

        Although I can’t swear to it (if you’ll pardon the pun), I am pretty sure that previous comments I’ve made on this site, I have starred out certain words, but you never warned me? However, I must also point out, I don’t have a problem with your warning, as strong language on any site, degrades that site.

  5. Mikeofthemoor

    He’s concerned that people may be deemed fit for work when they are not fit for work? Yet he voted for the cuts anyway.
    I’m sure Zac has been sufficiently educated to be able to find out about, and read about the deaths that has been caused by being found fit for work, but he would’nt make any money out of reading about that.
    A very, very shabby conscience indeed.

  6. casalealex

    Maybe, those MPs who voted for this abominable “severe and detrimental impact on the lives of disabled people.”, should spend a day or two sitting in on these assessments of real people; thereby proving that Goldsmith’s statement:

    “That comes down to definitions and it also comes down to local MPs, as with all these policies you can have a sound principle but it can have unforeseen consequences in practice. The job of the MP is to speak to the government and make sure that people who aren’t fit to work aren’t classified as fit to work.”

    will undoubtedly put claimants through unnecessary added trauma whilst their ‘busy’ MP, (who is probably not a medical expert), decides whether to speak with the ‘government’ about his opinion on a person’s claim.

    1. John

      I’m not really happy about what Goldsmith has said here. I wonder what he means by ‘definitions’ and it coming down to local MPs. I am going to assume that by ‘definitions’, he means the factors that are used to assess whether someone is assessed as fit to work or not? Is he also saying that local MPs have a say in whether people are fit to work or not? Surely not? If I AM right in what I’m thinkiing, then he clearly DOESN’T have a clue what he’s talking about or how the system works at all – yet he voted for the cuts! If true, that is SERIOUSLY SHOCKING!

  7. Tim

    His father was a billionaire that left him very comfortably off in life? how dare he say that cutting £30 from esa for people who will now struggle to get by…he’s just like the rest of tories over privileged and very out touch with how others live…he wont be getting my vote for the mayor’s title for London!!

  8. Nick

    what zac doesn’t realize is that at a local level the DWP job centers are laws unto their own and anything goes good or bad

    zac saying there is money available for those seeking work or words to that effect is like saying there are benefits available to the sick and disabled

    yes there are benefits but for who ? and what hoops do you have to go through to get them ? how many tribunals ?

    the bottom line is that zac like most mp’s is speaking from no experiences of how life is at the local level in which he has never lived in

  9. lanzalaco

    These tories really are in another planet and I find them very backwards in terms of keeping up with the science and culture. OK he is an environmentalist but only due to his families influence. Is this person really so interesting ? His wiki page does not show much of a thinker at all. Just another rich kid swarming around in the self congratulating but extremely boring out of touch world of well financed conservative blah, blah. For all the billions he inherited, if somebody else had this money it could be put to far better use than this guys piddling around social life. Then they go around making statements which talk down to disabled people like children. People that may be learned, intelligent, creative, mature and experienced in life than they are ! Absolutely disgraceful, ignorant and out of touch, but clearly not the worst of the tories.

    1. lanzalaco

      Well I have mixed with such people through family and I can tell you can talk a good game, but they simply do not have a clue about life beyond their value and asset tagging skills. It is utterly boring, destitute and banal being around them for more than a couple of hours. Yet they love and congratulate each other for their banal mediocrity and world of empty blah, blah like there is no tomorrow.

  10. Peter Smith

    Idiot. He supports all the legislation regarding DWP/ATOS, Tribunals, WCA’s etc then says MP’s can have some sort of final say in who is actually fit for work! Why did you vote for the draconian policy in the first place numbskull? 100’s have died because they can’t handle your wicked policy.

  11. John

    In fairness to Zac (and I may get partly lambasted for saying this), from various video I’ve seen of him, he seems to have his heart in the right place, but he’s got one MASSIVE problem………. He’s COMPLETELY OUT OF TOUCH with reality, and hasn’t got a single idea just exactly what is going on out there. Maybe I’m being too kind on him!

    1. Felix Lanzalaco

      sure, but its a skilfull asset in that world to present yourself as happy go lucky blissfully ignorant. But is there some wilfull ignorance going on there. How would you know ?

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