Five Tory MPs joined opposition MPs, on 17 Nov 2016, in voting for a backbench motion calling on the government to postpone a proposed cut in employment and support allowance (ESA).

The motion, which was passed by 127 votes to zero, is not binding on the government.

The government is planning to cut ESA payments by £29 a week to £73 from April for new claimants in the work-related activity group (wrag) – which covers people unable to work at present but judged capable of preparing to return to work.

The opposition motion also called on the government to reveal its distributional analysis ahead of the autumn statement – a breakdown of how hard various income brackets are hit by spending cuts. No figures have been published since 2015, but the motion was defeated by 24 votes.

In the media:

Guardian article, 17 Nov 2016: Tory MPs call for welfare cuts rethink after pause motion passed

No MPs voted against motion to stop cuts to employment support allowance, with 127 in favour, but it is only symbolic

Mirror article, 17 Nov 2016: MPs just voted down a bid to reveal the impact of their £3.4bn welfare cut

DBC post, 17 Nov: Open letter to Government on second chance to stop ESA cuts

Ahead of today’s debate in the House of Commons on cuts to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Universal Credit, over 70 members of the Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC) have signed an open letter (below) to the Government, warning of the devastating effects the cuts would have on people with a disability and urging MPs to take this debate as an opportunity to re-assess the cuts.


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