Make benefits fair for those that have paid into the system with National Insurance contributions.
We are asking that the DWP does not scrap contributory based ESA & JSA as they are currently planning to.
Currently claimants that have paid enough national insurance contributions can get these benefits with little means testing; DWP analysis suggests 30% of claimants, over 300,000 families, would be £80 per week worse off if these types of benefit were scrapped. DWP predicted saving £1.3billion in 2018-19.
Imagine paying into an insurance system that promises to pay back a certain amount should you fall sick or loose your job. Now imagine that the insurance company goes back on it’s promises and pays you only a base rate. This is what the DWP is proposing by scrapping contributory based ESA & JSA. If the DWP were a company, it would be breaking the law.
According to the Institute of Fiscal Studies, “Entitlement to contributory ESA & JSA depends not on income, but on one’s history of national insurance contributions. They are remnants of Beverage’s vision of social insurance in a working age social security system in which 80% of spending is now means tested. This is an area of which the coalition has made cuts, limiting the duration of contributory ESA claims (except for the most disabled claimants) to a year from April 2012. A total of£5bn a year is now spent on contributory ESA and JSA, however, abolishing them would save only a fraction of that amount since most recipients (those with low incomes) could claim an equivalent amount in means tested benefits instead. The BBC report suggests the saving could be £1.3bn a year with over 300,000 households £80 a week worse off.
This reform would represent another stage in the slow demise of the contributory benefits system: which in itself is contrary to major European countries that are more generous and reward the workers for paying into to the system: we are 8th out of ten major European countries in generosity of benefits, source EuroStat, Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development.
Why are these changes unfair?
According to the ONS the poorest 20% have the equivalent of £2000 in wealth each compared to the richest 10% that are 8,500% richer on average. It’s the governments duty of care to ensure adequate food, shelter and adequate living conditions to each and every citizen. (We have in the UK signed up to the to the international convention on economic and social rights in 1976 that says the UK must provide every citizen adequate food of sufficient quality, and the stopping of benefits to at least buy food is tantamount to breaking this international agreement).
The proposal to stop contributory ESA and JSA makes a mockery of the governments rhetoric of rewarding working people, which is gross double standards and gross hypocrisy. Also the Council of Europe has criticised the UK for its welfare reform and the inadequate level of benefits.
The UN has launched an investigation of the UK’s treatment of disabled people.
The grossest hypocrisy is rewarding the bankers with a subsidy of £30bn a year according to the new economics forum through quantitative easing etc. showing their loyalty to rewarding greed.