Esther McVey Claims Disabled People Will Be Exempt From The Benefit Cap – Is This True?

by richardhutton

Writing in the Guardian, the Minister for Disabled People Esther McVey claims that:

“Of course we are protecting the most vulnerable in society, with disabled people exempt from the benefit cap”

But this isn’t actually true. As the government themselves state plainly on their own site (my emphasis):

“What’s included

The cap will apply to the total amount that the people in your household get from the following benefits:

Bereavement Allowance

Carer’s Allowance

Child Benefit

Child Tax Credit

Employment and Support Allowance (unless you get the support component)

Guardian’s Allowance

Housing Benefit

Incapacity Benefit

Income Support

Jobseeker’s Allowance

Maternity Allowance

Severe Disablement Allowance  

Widowed Parent’s Allowance (or Widowed Mother’s Allowance or Widows Pension you started getting before 9 April 2001)

McVey was writing in support of the Benefit cap, and further claims that

“Let me be clear: the proposed cap of £26,000 a year is the equivalent of a salary of £35,000 – and it is simply wrong that people who don’t work can get substantially more money from the state than many working people earn”

But, as is clear from the list above, all of the benefits except Incapacity and Jobseeker’s Allowance are available to people who do work. In a stroke indicative of remarkable carelessness, McVey links to a Channel4 news article – rather than a policy document – which outlines the prospect of many families being left homeless because of the Cap; and costs actually increasing as a result.

Why are Ministers not held to account for making claims which are so blatantly false?