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Friday, January 29, 2016

Another day, another government defeat

It is little wonder that David Cameron wants to mute the House of Lords, they are proving very troublesome to him. The latest defeat for him is over the government's attempt to cut the amount people get on the ESA disability benefit.

According to the Independent, peers have voted 283 votes to 198 – a majority of 85 for the opposition, which mainly comprised of Labour, Liberal Democrat, and crossbench peers - to reject a sharp planned cut to disability benefits.

Ministers had wanted to cut £30 from the £102.15 rate of Employment and Support Allowance given to people deemed likely capable of work in the future. New claimants to so-called “Work Related Activity Group” (WRAG) would get the lower rate.

These proposals would cause unnecessary hardship and anxiety to people who have been independently assessed as unfit for work, and the measures are likely to have a disproportionately adverse impact on disabled people. I am pleased that they have been rejected.

And whilst I agree that the House of Lords needs reforming, it is because I want it democratised, not neutered so as to suit the political agenda of Tory Ministers.
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