REBEL Tory MP Stephen McPartland accused his own government yesterday of cutting financial support for the disabled because of a “perverse belief” that the £30 a week keeps people from wanting to work.
Ministers invoked financial privilege on Tuesday night to trip up peers’ bid to block the cut to employment and support allowance (ESA).
David Cameron dodged the issue at Prime Minsiter’s Questions yesterday, when Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn asked why if the economy is recovering are the £30 cuts, hitting some of the poorest disabled people in the country, being pushed through.
But Mr McPartland, one of a handful of Tories who rebelled against the cuts, answered the question on the PM’s behalf during an interview on Russia Today’s Going Underground programme.
He said: “My view is it’s the government failure, because it’s our problem we’re not helping these people back into work.
“There’s some kind of perverse belief that this additional £30 is giving an incentive for these people to stay on ESA to continue being ill.
“They can work with us and we can, with the NHS, work with you to help you get practical support into work.
“That’s just not happening.”
The Stevenage MP — who has backed most of the Tories’ other attacks on benefits claimants — added that only one in 100 people were able to leave the ESA programme, while a fifth came off jobseekers’ allowance.
In response to charity concerns over the burden placed on disabled people after the cut, the government argued the policy would instead incentivise ESA claimants to look for work.