Steve Brine MP

for Winchester & Chandler's Ford

01 DEC 2015

MP meets with MND to discuss ESA

Steve Brine attended a special meeting of the All Party Group for Motor Neurone Disease on Tuesday 1st December to talk about changes to Employment and Support Allowance.

He has spoken with a number of constituents who raised the issue that many people with MND reply on ESA to replace their income when they can no longer work due to their illness.

Steve said: "There are up to 5000 people living with MND in our country, and a third will die within 12 months of diagnosis. More than half will die within two years, and there is sadly still no cure.

"The benefit freeze proposed by the Welfare Reform and Work Bill includes the basic allowance of ESA, worth £73.10 per week with someone with MND who cannot work, and I think this is something that needs much further examination."

The government has exempted the support group component, worth £36.20 per week, from the freeze in recognition that those with disabilities will face extra costs, as well as loss of income, but it appears there will be a real terms cut in freezing the main element of ESA.

Steve added: "I would like to see an amendment which offers genuine protection to those in most need of support, and I will be writing formally to the Minister to this end."

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