EVESHAM’S MP Nigel Huddleston has defended his decision to vote in favour of a £30 a week cut to disability benefits and claimed it would result in more money, not less being spent on people with disabilities.
Mr Huddleston told the Observer the decision to slash Employment and Support Allowance from £103 a week to £73, which would not affect current claimants, would free up more money to be spent on helping more disabled people who want to work, to get a job.
New ESA claimants will be affected by the move are those who are deemed unable to work at the moment but may be able to find employment in the future, including attending job interviews and taking part in training.
“No one currently claiming these benefits will be impacted,” Mr Huddleston said.
“Future claimants will be identified as either able to work or not able to work. Those not able to work will, quite rightly, not be impacted. Those able to work will receive extra help in getting them into work.
“Any money saved in direct ESA payments for future claimants is going to be spent on assistance and training to help disabled people into employment.
“More money, not less, will therefore be spent on people with disabilities.
“The focus will be on what many disabled people who are able to work say they want most – helping them to get a job.
“In the last two years more than 300,000 people with disabilities have entered employment bringing the total to more than 3.25 million – a record number.
“Total welfare spending on people with disabilities will be increasing by £1billion over the next four years,” he added.