Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Email to Andrew Turner MP

Dear Mr Turner

I am writing concerning the vote tomorrow (Thursday 17th Nov) proposing to reverse the abolition of the work-related component of Employment and Support Allowance.

Although I am not a supporter of your party, I consider that you are an honourable man who have voted and spoken with your conscience in the past.

The previous vote to cut the ESA component was, I contend, tainted by a dishonest briefing of MPs by the government at the time as to what the proposal was, assisted by the deliberately confusing terminology. Many MPs, including I believe you, were told that the cut affected only those found fit for work. This was a lie as it affected only those found unable to do any work as defined under the stringent ESA criteria.

It was said that the money cut would be reinvested into supporting claimants to work. It has not been explained how this is possible when the people the money is to be taken from have been found unable to work.

It was said that the cut brought ESA into line with jobseekers Allowance. This was not true, as a disability premium is available to disabled JSA claimants. The ESA component is the equivalent of this for people too ill to claim JSA. The cut therefore makes ESA less than JSA for the same claimant.

I feel strongly that a vote by Parliament tomorrow to keep the cut would be an endorsement of the government lying to MPs and as such, the only proper course is for Parliament to overturn the cut pending a full and honest reassessment of it.

I trust you will do what is clearly right.

Yours faithfully

Tom Evans

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