Leave people in WRAG alone.

So. Today the House of Commons are discussing the Welfare Reform and Work Bill. This is the Bill that will cut the Employment Support Allowance payments received by disabled people in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) by thirty pounds every week to the same level as non-disabled people receiving Job Seekers Allowance. And the justification the Government for this move? Apparently, cutting disabled people’s benefits will ’incentivise’ them to go out and get a job.

Great plan.

What is is about sickness and disability that this Government just isn’t getting?

According to the Government, and the Department of Work and Pensions, sick and disabled people can be put to one of two categories for welfare benefits purposes. There are those people who are so sick and disabled they will never be able to work and then there are those people who may be able to work one day if they are given the right support to get to that point. And it’s that second group which will be affected by this Bill.

In my opinion, it’s pretty simple really. Someone who is sick or disabled has a medical condition which limits the work they may, or may not be able to do. Either that or they need support in applying for and securing employment and support in keeping that employment once they have obtained  it. That’s what the WRAG group is all about. The Government has decided that people in WRAG should receive the same amount of money as people who are receiving Job Seekers Allowance but that they will get extra help with finding and securing a job. Now that’s a great idea, as long as it works. Many, many disabled people would love to work, just a long as they get some support to enable them to do so. The problem is, as far as I can see, that the Government also wants to withdraw that support too, namely, the Access to Work Scheme. The Government seems to want sick and disabled people to go into workplaces without any additional help whatsoever. Wonderful plan but it just will not work. Disabled people are perfectly capable of working, just as long as they get the help and support that WRAG and Access to Work provides, such as personal support, aids and adaptations. Without that personal support, without those aids and adaptations, sick and disabled people cannot go out to work. WRAG was devised as a way of supporting sick and disabled people into work. It was devised as a way of recognising the additional costs someone who is sick or disabled may encounter in trying to do exactly what the Government wants in working their way out of poverty. Cutting it to the same level as Jobseekers Allowance takes away the very amount claimants receive for additional disability costs. ESA WRAG and Job Seekers Allowance become the same thing. No difference between them. What is the point.

Actually, thinking about what is being proposed, is this how the Government is going to reduce the cost of sick and disabled people to the National Health Service? Is this how the Government are planning on reducing the NHS Bill? Have they found some kind of magic bullet for so many medical conditions? Reduce the amount of money sick and disabled people have for the necessities of life such as shelter, heating and sustenance and they will all get better and be able to go out to work. Is the Government, and largely, the Conservative Party, trying to tell us that a reduction in the welfare payments a sick or disabled claimant in WRAG receives will magically cure them of whatever it that ails them because that is what it sounds like. Somehow, I don’t think that’s how healthcare works. If it was as simple as that, surely someone would have spotted it sooner than this.

Leave people in WRAG alone and try chasing after the people and companies who are evading tax altogether to make up the fiscal deficit. Leave people in WRAG alone and try going for the people like the bankers who caused the problems we are having. Leave people in WRAG alone and try stop trying to punish the people at the bottom just for being at the bottom. Welfare Benefit reductions are a quick fix, not a long term solution. Leave people in WRAG alone, look to your own and try something else instead.

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15 comments
  1. I’m in full agreement with you Poppy. I don’t understand why the media when they are interviewing any of the torys they don’t bring up the fact that the companies that are evading tax, the bankers that are rewarding themselves with bonuses and the politicians pay rise would more than make up the 12bn they seemingly need. Get rid of the House of Lords & that added with every thing else the could dig up that’s not on my list could fund the NHS. The torys have more than doubled the debt in the last 5yrs what the hell have they been spending it on because it hasn’t been on welfare or the NHS.

    • The only prble I have with getting rid of the House of Lords is what happened yesterday. Without the HoL the Tax Credits Cuts would be s thing. We need a 2nd Chamber but it has to be one that cannot be stacked by the Commons. 2 Chambers that agreed with each other would mean death for so many. Literally death.

  2. Margaret Stephenson said:

    I agree with Poppy too,but what I think should be stopped now is the foreigners who get tax credits and family allowence who’s children don’t live in our countries.I don’t know if any body else watched a documentary about I’m going to say Polish people (I could be wrong) coming over to this country and getting these benefits which amounted to a he’ll of a lot of money each month.The father kept bragging he was getting all this money for nothing and he was modornizing his dump of a home out of these benefits,he was installing a bathroom.It also showed you a bus load of this man’s village coming to England for these benefits as it was free.Last person was a lady and her son they had lived here but didn’t like it so they went back to there home town and she opened a coffee shop and it showed you her going to the 🏧 machine and getting her monthly English benifits out.
    So us the disabled who have worked hard and through no fault of our own are on E S A are going to possibly lose £30 a week if we are in the wrong group.
    Finally I would like to say up until I was in a bad car accident,was bringing 3 teenage sons up on my own without having to rely on the social as some people call it I was known as the factory cat because I worked all the overtime available and when it came to need benefit I had to fight for every penny I’m getting also it took over 5 years to get an insure ne payout of £32,500.00 and was left with £5000 as I had to pay my benefits back of what I’d had while on the sick and disabilaty.
    So Nr Cameron go for those out of our country who don’t deserve these benefits start on them not the people of England

    • Sarah Davis said:

      I’ve only just found and followed this page but I’m now going to unsubscribe because already I can see racist comments. It’s just what the government want, ignore the obvious fact that even if we didn’t help refugees the money spent on them wouldn’t go to the poor in this country. Pick on the “benefit scroungers” and “bloody foreigners” and ignore the fact that the problems in this country are created by the government and their rich cronies and those who don’t bother to pay their taxes and are allowed to get away with it, these are the ones we should be up in arms about. And so many people fall for it, stigmatising the poor instead of making the rich pay their dues. It makes me so angry and I really don’t expect to see it on a page that’s supposed to be sticking up for human rights

      • I’m sorry you feel that way Sarah. I’m not sure which comments you are talking about though – I abhor racism. Please point me towards the comments you are taking about. I haven’t mentioned refugees at all. I fully support the help refugees are getting, they are fleeing for their lives and deserve all the help we can give.I don’t want to see racism on my blogsite any more than you or anyone else wants…..

    • I’m sorry, I don’t agree with your post. I find it racist and wrong. The people have applied for the benefits they are receiving and as a result, they have been deemed to be entitled to them. You aren’t told by the Govt what you have to do with your money so why should they. The people you are talking about have moved to this country in order to work and earn and support their families as much as they can and that’s what they are doing. What do you want? The real problem in this country as far as I am concerned are the businesses and individuals who are not paying the taxes they should be paying. The Government needs to focus on the revenue it is due from those people. The amount the should receive from that would be more than enough to offset the cost of supporting the people who need that support.

  3. Sarah Davis said:

    I read today that there’s more chance of someone on ESA dying than being found a job and that sounds about right. The so called job centre isn’t about finding jobs for people any more, it’s more about making people follow the ridiculous rules they have now and sanctioning them if they don’t do exactly as they’re told. Those who have been deemed “not fit to work” by their doctors or medical specialists but have been told by DWP that despite what the medical profession say they must go out and look for work just don’t stand a chance. There’s nothing out there for those who are fit. None of it is about getting people in work any more, just getting people off welfare benefits. Why can’t the government put as much effort into collecting taxes from big corporations that don’t pay as they are in trying to take what little money those of us who can’t work get? The amount the tax dodgers owe would more than cover the welfare bill

    • Fully agree Sarah they are just going after the most vulnerable because they can’t fight back, typical school bully tactics, and also the fascists killed the sick and disabled before they started on the Jews and the gypsies in germany.

      • That’s what’s worrying me Barry. The Nazis had those signs above the concentration camp gates saying ‘Work makes free’ and now we are getting almost exactly the same words coming from IDS and the DWP every day – we seem to be on a slippery slope and I don’t like it.

  4. The only incentive will be for parasitic JC+ employees to force a sanction on us who are in WRAG, They better come up with something very good if they want to remove me from WRAG as every WFI I have had over a five years period they have said within minutes I should be in the support group, and that is only 3 assessments, I haven’t had a WFI in over two years

    • People in WRAG need support, not sanctions. I am in the support group myself but my daughter was in WRAG and it was horrific. The number of WFI and other shit she had to go through. It was soul destroying and had such an effect on her ad her mental health she ended up being moved into the support group. I’m sure that’s not what is supposed to happen….

  5. can anyone tell me if this deduction of £30 is for all those in WRAG group or for new claimants that get put in WRAG? some say one thing others say another.very confusing (isnt all this business of reforms?) i am sure they do it on purpose so no one knows if they are coming or going, how much they can expect to receive etc. mess peoples lives up as much as possible . physically ,mentally, financially,. put them in black books for debt. making sure they never again climb up the first rung of the ladder to getting out of the well of despair.

    • I don’t know the answer to your question – you’re right , it’s all very confusing. I think you’re right though – the confusion is on purpose so we are all pathetically grateful for the dregs they award us.

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