Thank you for contacting me about the proposed cuts to benefits.
I feel there is a certain amount of misinformation about at the moment and would like to reassure you that no-one who is presently on existing benefits or tax credits, whose circumstances do not change, will lose out in cash terms, as a result of being moved to Universal Credit.
Similarly there will be no cuts to the cash received by those who are already in receipt of ESA. In addition the Government aims to protect current ESA claimants who temporarily leave the benefit to try out work and then return to ESA. Most importantly, the change won’t affect anyone whose ability to work is significantly limited by a health condition or disability.
The ability to work provides many benefits in addition to the obvious economic ones – the workplace provides social interaction which may improve self-esteem and confidence, ultimately benefitting general health and well-being.
To this end the Government has agreed a package of an additional £15 million over the next two financial years for the Jobcentre Plus Flexible Support Fund to specifically help claimants with a limited capability for work with extra costs that might be involved in moving closer to work.
I hope this offers some reassurance that the proposed cuts are not as drastic as they are being portrayed.
Thank you for contacting me about this very important issue and should you require any further assistance please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.