Reclassifying ESA as an unemployment benefit – fiscal eugenics?

People are getting wound up, and rightly so, by Osborne’s lumping of ESA in with unemployment benefits, not with disability benefits, thus allowing it to be effectively cut by the imposing of a 1% increase (disability benefits aren’t affected).

However, the government has been referring to ESA as a sickness benefit for quite some time now, and so has the press. I expected howls of protest but they didn’t happen. Until now, that is.

So, having got away with informally reclassifying ESA as a sickness benefit, it’s probably no surprise they’re now calling in an unemployment benefit. There is a perverse logic to that, as if you are too ill to work – disabled – then you could be considered unemployed by virtue of that fact. (Don’t have a go at me if you don’t like the idea – I’m just exploring a potential thought process – go yell at Gideon or IDS, who is probably behind the change anyway.)

This, also, might be considered confirmation that the disabled are being edited out of society, at least as far as funding is concerned – first ESA is reassigned, and DLA is soon to become PIP – it’s fiscal eugenics.

How long before it gets physical?

11 thoughts on “Reclassifying ESA as an unemployment benefit – fiscal eugenics?

  1. Pingback: Reclassifying ESA as an unemployment benefit – fiscal eugenics? | Disability Issues |

  2. its another of their back door cuts. probably no outcry cos people are thinking it comes into disability benefits still, as indeed i did till i read the above.nowhere in the bits Ive read has it said that ESA is not disability benefits.that’s not to say its not there, just that i haven’t seen it……

  3. Pingback: Reclassifying ESA as an unemployment benefit – fiscal eugenics? | Mental Health, Politics and LGBT issues |

  4. People still don’t seem to get what this Govn is doing. I concur wholeheartedly with your analysis but unfortunately I don’t think enough people are getting “wound up”; but what it will take …?

    • I’m at a loss – apathy is rampant.

      ESA doesn’t concern me, but I spotted the reference to sickness benefit, a minor but still significant move away from “sickness and disability benefit”. No outcry from those groups supposedly with their eye on the ball, so now it’s an unemployment benefit. Allow them to make a minor change, unchallenged, and before you know it, they make a major change, and one that’s going to cost a lot of people a lot of money.

    • thing is, did he say this in the next breath AFTER a major cut was announced, thus taking any emphasis off the ESA bit? with most of these things, people only hear what seems to them major items, only later do they see the written word and realise whats happened.usually too late to do anything about it.this lot are dab hands at pushing things through as they feel fit before anyone can say yeah or nay or whatever.

  5. It should be referred to a sickness and disability benefit to be fair, but I believe that they found that more people were claiming for a primary sickness condition than a disability and then the wording seemed to change to sickness for ESA and disability for DLA.

    I don’t like the false dichotomy. But I think classifying ESA as a working age benefit and uprating the basic rate at 1% is more of an issue than whether it gets shortened to sickness benefit in conversation. 425,000 people are stuck on the £71 pw basic rate of ESA at the moment because of the backlog. They’re all going to be further shafted by this.

    Especially because classing ESA as a working age benefit distinct from a ‘disability’ benefit came two days after mandatory workfare for the WRAG came in tells you a lot.

    It would be nice if sick and disabled could join together on this and campaign?

    • they are……. though only via petitions as far as i can tell right now,

      i know there are a few more different ones but dont have time to go looking right now.
      trouble is. if people are genuinely sick and disabled, they are too much so to do much physically and only those who care for such people are able to do that. those who are ill /disabled can only use e petitions and whatever is available to them via online social sites or letter writing to MP’s and other bodies /charities representative of their own ailments/conditions or any of those they are close to.

      • Trouble is that epetitions are a total crock.

        They accomplish absolutely nothing and, even if they make the magic 100k signatures and get a Commons debate, any decisions reached are NOT binding and can be completely ignored by government. And they are.

        Epetitions were introduced to give the plebs the illusion of having a degree of influence on government policy-making when in fact, they have nothing of the sort.

        And yes, I know I’m a cynical bugger – I’m also realistic. If epetitions could actually influence policy, they’d never have been introduced.

    • The Guardian, Indy, and Mirror (though the days when the Mirror was a respected newspaper are long gone), are arguably the only papers not subject to influence by Murdoch or the government.

      The Mail ploughs its own demented furrow, and can be safely ignored 😉

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