Employment and Support Allowance

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 30th January 2013.

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Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

(1) what estimate he has made of the number of cancer patients in (a) the support group and (b) the work related activity group of employment and support allowance (ESA) who will see their income fall as a result of the Government's decision to uprate components of ESA by one per cent rather than by the level of the consumer price index;

(2) what plans he has to review the ability of cancer patients to cope with the increases in the cost of living in (a) 2013-14, (b) 2014-15 and (c) 2015-16; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Steve Webb Steve Webb The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

There are no data available which would allow us to identify the impact of the Welfare Benefits Up-rating Bill on particular health condition groups in receipt of ESA.

The Department produces National Statistics on the employment and support allowance (ESA) caseload, including breakdown by health condition group and phase of ESA claim. This can be found at:

In making difficult decisions about benefit uprating, we have sought to protect the most vulnerable, including continuing to uprate the Support Group component of ESA with reference to prices. The Employment and Support Allowance (Amendment) Regulations 2012 that came into force on 28 January make it easier for people with cancer to get the support they require and mean that hundreds more people who are awaiting, receiving, or recovering from any form of chemotherapy or radiotherapy for cancer will be placed in the Support Group for employment and support allowance where they will get the help they need while unable to work.

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George Morley
Posted on 31 Jan 2013 2:36 pm (Report this annotation)

It would seem that the ex-pat pensioners living in certain countries who have their pensions frozen with no justification are not worthy for any uprating even though Steve Webb admitted that it is discrimination and is unfair and irrational. When will he be a man of his word and remove the regulation that imposes the freezing then ? Are pensioners not the most vulnerable ? If he is serious about his job then this freezing has no place in government policy.