OK, this has popped up again this morning for the third or forth occasion, but I think we can assume that they mean it this time round: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-33347511 I suspect this will happen: £12 billion is a lot to find and ESA has been haemorrhaging cash for the last couple of years. Looking at the latest statistics, 64% of new claimants got support group ESA, roughly the same amount of people who used to get Incapacity Benefit altogether under the old regime. A further 13% were put in the WRAG, so this will only affect a minority of claimants. In the short term, this will be devastating for people in the WRAG: they won't have enough money to live on. However, I suspect in the long term that it will at least make something clear which has so far been obfuscated: WRAG is an outpost of JSA, rather than ESA, and claimants are expected to work at some point. As it stands, too many chronic patients of all illnesses end up in the WRAG, think they're on long term benefits and aren't ready to deal with the consequences when they come up against the interviews and courses, underpinned by sanctions, that they are expected to undertake. This will make it more likely that those in the "reformed" WRAG will appeal to get in the support group, so as to avoid the attention of Jobcentre Plus and the like. Whether the government's belief that claimants are less likely to moan and appeal to get the extra money if they end up on Jobseekers is true, I don't know. But I suspect most people who are disabled and end up on JSA will appeal anyway: IT IS UNLIKELY THAT THEY WOULD HAVE PUT THEMSELVES THROUGH SUCH AN ONEROUS TASK UNLESS THEY WERE UNFIT FOR WORK. But this seems to have been lost once again on the DWP. Perhaps the most ominous sentence in the article is this: This may mean a tightening of rule requirements - it seems outlandish that conditionality and sanctions would be applied to the severely disabled (though not impossible, after all Priti Patel is now employment minister, a terrifying proposition). Given the chaos that ensued last time they attempted to forcibly eject large numbers of sick people from ESA, you might have think they'd have learned their lesson: the vast and overwhelming majority of people claiming for Incapacity are too sick to work and cannot be forced to do so. But it seems that, as soon as they've cleared off the enormous backlog caused by the last, calamitous run at this, they are preparing to start shouting at the rain once again. This will mean for claimants; further hardship, increasing severity of illness and, for some, premature death. And in the end it will all fail again. Trebles all round in Whitehall then, I imagine.