Employment and Support Allowance

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 2nd March 2017.

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Photo of Kate Green Kate Green Labour, Stretford and Urmston

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how his Department plans to monitor the effect of changes in the level of financial support for new claimants in the employment and support allowance work-related activity group on disabled people.

Photo of Penny Mordaunt Penny Mordaunt The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

Our reforms to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) are about making sure that we provide the right support for those who are unable to work. That support is not limited to just money, for people in the Work-Related Activity Group, we are offering more assistance to move closer to the labour market and when they are ready into work, including guaranteed places on the new Work and Health Programme, or Work Choice, and additional places on the Specialist Employability Support programme.

As part of this, we have allocated a total of £330m for new, voluntary support for people with limited capability for work, over four years starting from April 2017, and an extra £15 million through a top up to the existing Flexible Support Fund in both 2017/18 and 2018/19.

Programme support for people with health conditions and disabilities will be devolved to Scotland from April 2017. The block grant to the Scottish Government will be adjusted to reflect the devolution of welfare, as set out in the Fiscal Framework.

This is a substantial investment in those affected by the removal of the Work-Related Activity Component, but there are several factors around the nature of this group and the voluntary elements of the support which mean that we cannot monitor this change in isolation.

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