Mind welcomes House of Lords amendments to the Welfare Reform Bill
Posted Thursday 12 January 2012
Mind has welcomed the amendments on Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) to the Welfare Reform Bill, passed by the House of Lords last night.
Of the three votes that went against the Government, the most important for people with mental health problems is the extension of the proposed one year limit on contributory ESA claims to two years. This will mean that people in the Work Related Activity Group (or WRAG) of ESA who have previously been working, would not have to face a means test until they have been claiming the benefit for two years.
Mind Chief Executive Paul Farmer said:
It was great to see common sense prevail in the House of Lords last night, and we hope that the Government respects this strong message that stringent time constraints for ESA will have a very damaging effect on disabled people, including many with mental health problems.
Mind has been campaigning for many years for a fair and effective welfare system which meets the needs of people with mental health problems and we hope that further improvements continue to be made to the Welfare Reform Bill so that we can keep moving towards this goal.
There will be more important votes on the Welfare Reform Bill on Tuesday, when the House of Lords will debate changes to Disability Living Allowance. Keep an eye on Mind’s website, Facebook page and Twitter account for updates on how you can help with our campaigning.
Update: Find out how you can help call for changes to the DLA reforms: Tweet to defeat