Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016 – 3 years on assessing the impact

Inclusion London submitted evidence to the All Party Parliamentary Group for health in all policies’ inquiry 2019

3 Years On: Assessing the Impact of the Welfare Reform & Work Act 2016 on Children and Disabled Adults

 Below is a summary of the main points in our evidence and the key recommendations:

Summary

  • Although the UK is  a signatory to international covenants on economic rights including the UN Convention on the Right of Persons with Disabilities  the government has ignored these rights and instead imposed welfare benefit reforms, which have caused further poverty and destitution amongst Deaf and Disabled people.
  • At least 63% of those impacted by the benefit cap are Deaf and Disabled people.
  • Before the cut of nearly £30 per week Deaf and Disabled people in the Employment Support Allowance (ESA) Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) were already struggling financially, [1] the cut adds to Deaf and Disabled people’s hardship.
  • Deaf and Disabled people are one of the groups most effected by the cumulative impacted of the governments changes to taxes and welfare benefits. The benefit freeze is one of the key elements in the negative impact.[2]
  • Inaccurate assessments result in Deaf and Disabled people losing their welfare benefit and then become subject to measures in the WRW Act such as the benefit freeze and benefit cap.
  • The impact of the measures in the WRW Act need to be seen in the context of other welfare reforms as the impact is cumulative. 

Summary of Recommendations

  • We call on the APPG to urge the government to proactively promote the rights in the international covenants through all its policies and to place these rights in domestic law so they cannot be overridden by the government in the future.
  • The cut in nearly £30 for Disabled people in the WRAG is abolished.
  • Deaf and Disabled people are exempt from the benefit cap and the benefit freeze.
  • The current assessment systems are scrapped and are replaced by assessments co-designed with Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisations, based on the social model of disability.
  • The APPG calls on the government to undertake a cumulative impact assessment of all tax and welfare reforms on Deaf and Disabled people.

 Our full submission is available to download here.