Half a million people are expected to lose out financially at any given time as a result of the abolition of the work-related activity component (WRAC) of employment and support allowance (ESA) for new claimants from 1st April 2017. The government claims this will improve their life chances.
The figures come from the impact assessment for the abolition of the WRAC which the government published yesterday. New claimants will lose £28 a week, estimated to be a 10% reduction in overall income for the families affected
The DWP claims that affected claimants will be better off because the changes are “supportive of the Life Chances legislation in that this policy will gradually build the incentive for people to make the choice to move into work.”
They even argue that the policy of making ESA claimants poorer could reduce child poverty because “the number of children living in workless households could fall over time.”
The DWP argues that anyone affected by the changes could recoup their losses by working for 4-5 hours a week at the national living wage. In this way
It doesn’t explain how people who are too sick to work can actually work or who will offer them jobs for such a small number of hours a week.