On Tuesday 23rd our Conservative MP for Bath, Ben Howlett, voted to cut Employment Support Allowance for disabled people by a third – a huge £30 per week.
ESA is a vital lifeline paid to people who are too ill or disabled to work – people who are either too ill to ever have worked, or hard-working people who paid their taxes and NI over many years in the expectation that should their health deteriorate, they would be looked after.
Most of these ideological cuts to social security are justified by claiming it will ‘encourage people to work’. One has to wonder how cuts to people judged too ill to work, who can’t ‘decide’ that work will pay, can help them at all.
As we continue to see our MP vote for cuts that hit the poorest students (support which he himself took advantage of), and sick and disabled people in Bath, one must wonder how much more pain to his constituents he is willing to be complicit in for the sake of his unwavering party loyalty and career.
Dominic Tristram, 2015 Green Party PPC for Bath