Employment Support Allowance

Oral Answers to Questions — Treasury – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 21st July 2015.

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Photo of Dawn Butler Dawn Butler Labour, Brent Central 11:30 am, 21st July 2015

What discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on the effect of proposed changes to employment support allowance on levels of employment.

Photo of Greg Hands Greg Hands The Chief Secretary to the Treasury

We created 2 million jobs in the previous Parliament, and our objective is to create a further 2 million in this Parliament. A crucial part of that is the welfare reforms that we have introduced to help make work pay, which is consistent with our long-term economic plan.

Photo of Dawn Butler Dawn Butler Labour, Brent Central

Of course we all want to see work pay, but a large section of the community are sometimes unable to work for short periods of time because of illnesses such as sickle cell disease. The Minister seems to have overlooked that group of people.

Photo of Greg Hands Greg Hands The Chief Secretary to the Treasury

I thank the hon. Lady for her question. Our welfare reforms are based on the principle of fairness; fair on those who receive the benefits and fair on those who pay the tax. With regard to a specific group, there is clearly a difference between the work-related activity group and the support group, and we are happy to look at those differences. She is clearly not satisfied with what we are doing, but she is also one of the 48 Labour Members who rebelled last night on welfare, so I do not think that she is satisfied with her Front Benchers’ position either.