Jan 122012
 

Baroness Meacher, an independent crossbencher, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The British public do not accept the idea that the banks screw up and very disabled people pay the bill.”
The Lords vote see the Government defeated by 234 to 186, a majority of 48, over a plan to limit to one year the time people can claim Employment Support Allowance.
Peers agreed a move to replace the one-year cap with the ability for the Government to specify a limit of no less than two years.
Lord Patel, an independent crossbench peer, said: “I am sympathetic to cutting the deficit, but I am highly sympathetic to sick and vulnerable people not being subjected to something that will make their lives even more miserable.”
The Government was also defeated when peers voted by 222 to 166, majority 56, to accept another amendment by Lord Patel removing the time limit on contributory ESA payments from people receiving treatment for cancer.
Employment minister Chris Grayling said the welfare state should be focused on supporting those with the most need quotes the BBC –DPAC agrees that it should too but we think Grayling is a bit confused over whose those might be – fortunately the Lords are not.

Labour said the coalition was defeated for trying to “cross the basic line of British decency”.

DPAC networks should congratulate themselves for the long months of protests and lobbying on Atos, WCA and on ESA since 2010- but the battle is not over yet. As responsible groups we know that the lobbying must continue when the amendments go to the House of Commons.

Pictures of Tuesday’s protest can be found here

http://www.demotix.com/news/999151/welfare-rights-vigil-opposite-houses-parliament-london

and

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/video/2012/jan/11/welfare-protest-lords-video

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