SNP MP Mhairi Black has called on the UK government to increase Employment Support Allowance (ESA) – given they have recognised the need for an increase in Universal Credit and they refuse to discuss the possibility of a Universal Basic Income.
At Prime Minister’s Questions today, the MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South urged the Prime minister to increase ESA – adding that if he will not, why does he feel that “people who are sick or have a disability require less support at this time.”
Boris Johnson responded by pointing out that the DWP has removed the 7 day waiting time for ESA but the SNP has said this does not go far enough.
ESA – alongside Jobseeker’s Allowance – is a legacy benefit for those not moved to Universal Credit and is for those with a disability or health condition that affects how much someone can work.
Commenting, Mhairi Black MP said: “People who are sick or have a disability deserve the same amount of support as everybody else – that is why I am urging the UK government to recognise the need for an increase in ESA as they have done with Universal Credit.
“The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact on households and families across the UK – particularly ill and disabled people, many of whom faced daily challenges even before the pandemic.
“An increase in ESA would go a long way to easing the even more difficult situation these people find themselves in.
“No-one should be left worse off as a result of a global pandemic out with their control.
“The SNP has been clear from the start of the crisis that the UK government must look again at bringing forward a guaranteed minimum income and strengthening welfare protections.”