Reblogged from Beyond Disability
The Conservative Party is planning to cut £12bn from the welfare budget, but the specific cuts have not been outlined in their manifesto. You can, however, get an idea of where the cuts will come from by looking at their economic projections, the benefits they pledge to leave unchanged and leaked internal documents.
Which benefits can we expect to see cut?
When pushed about the specifics, David Cameron told Evan Davis on Newsnight that Incapacity Benefits are on the list.
“We have been getting people off what was called Incapacity Benefit and back into work. We’re going to continue with that, successfully reducing welfare.”
This is backed up by internal government documents which were leaked to the BBC.
The benefits most likely to be cut:
Carers’ Allowance – £1bn cut, 40% of claimants affected
Disability benefits – £1.5bn cut every year
Council Tax support
Child Benefit – £1bn cut every year
Employment and Support Allowance and Job Seekers Allowance – £1.3bn cut by 2018/19, meaning that 30% of claimants (more than 300,000 families) will lose £80 per week.
This Government’s fundamental strategy with poverty has been to “get people off benefits and into work”. Their philosophy is that easily-accessed benefits discourage people from seeking work.
These cuts haven’t saved much money
The Department for Work and Pensions predicted that cutting incapacity benefits would save £3.5bn in 2014/15.
But some economists, such as Jonathan Portes, cast doubt on this. In fact, according to the most recent forecasts, spending will actually INCREASE.
The original forecasts were based on the belief that the number of people on benefit would have gone down by about half a million, to 2.1 million by 2014/15.
But this is what actually happened:
Numbers have started rising again. As Portes points out, “there are now more than 2.5 million people on the benefit – fully 400,000 more than the DWP expected in 2011.”
And cutting benefits haven’t helped people to get work
Just 12% of new Employment and Support Allowance claimants were able to get a ‘job outcome’ through the Work Programme, according to the most recent statistics.
In fact, this isn’t too far off the original DWP estimate of 13% – but it’s still rather low. If we look at ex-Incapacity Benefit ESA participants then the proportion of people who have found work is just 5%.
The Work Programme has been relatively successful in finding work for young unemployed people.
But the failure of the policy with disabled claimants raises questions over Cameron’s confidence that future plans to cut it even further will succeed.
Courtesy of The mirror ………’