The Government’s refusal to increase disabled people’s social security in line with Universal Credit will cost them almost £2 billion nationally, research by Labour shows.
The £20 uplift in Universal Credit was not applied to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) as Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey said in May it may take “several months” to do.
Since then, almost 3,000 ESA claimants – ill and disabled people – have not received any additional support Newport East.
In the 33 weeks since the standard allowance of Universal Credit was increased, the worst affected have lost £660. In total, 1.9 million ESA claimants risk losing out on almost £2 billion. This amounts to £3,084,640 in Newport East.
Disabled people have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Almost three in five people who have died from Covid have either been disabled or with a long-term health condition, and the Equality and Human Rights Commission reported in October that disabled people have experienced difficulties in accessing care.
Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, Marsha de Cordova MP, commenting on the analysis to coincide with the United Nations’ International Day of Disabled People this week, said: “The Conservatives must take responsibility for its actions. They have had months to fix this issue but have chosen not to increase support for disabled people. The Government should do the right thing, end this discrimination and ensure those who rely on ESA have the support they need during this crisis.”
ESA claimants in Newport East deserve better than they are getting from this government, and I am pleased Labour will continue to challenge ministers on this shameful policy.