MP Priti Patel has said cutting some disabled people's benefits by £30 a week is justified as it will help those with a "limited capability" to work find a job.

Ms Patel, who represents Witham and is also Employment Minister, said the Government would try and overturn attempts by the House of Lords to reverse the cut to an aspect of Employment Support Allowance (ESA) because the benefit is not working.

Peers last month voted to strike out a clause of the Welfare Reform and Work Bill which would have cut ESA for people in the work related activity group (WRAG) from £103 to £73 for new claimants from next year.

Claimants in that group may have a "limited capability" to work but this does not mean they cannot work at all and so they should be helped out of the "benefits trap", Ms Patel said.

The Tory minister said the current system was not working because only 1 per cent of WRAG claimants come off the benefit every month.

She said the payment should therefore be cut to bring it into line with Jobseeker's Allowance rates and to use some of the money to deliver better support to help people find jobs.

Outlining Government plans to oppose the Lords amendment to the Bill that would stop the cut, Ms Patel said: "This benefit is not working as anyone intended it and most importantly it is failing claimants badly.

"This Government is committed to spending taxpayers' money responsibly and in that way so that we can improve life chances and help move them out of benefits and get them into work.

"And those in the work related activity group are given additional cash payments but very little employment support.

"As the Prime Minister has recently stated, this fixation on welfare treats symptoms and not the causes and over time it traps people into dependency which is why we are proposing that through some of the money that is currently spent on cash payments, that are not actually achieving the desired effect of helping people move closer to the labour market, we will now put this into practical support that will make a genuine difference to people in these groups."

She went on: "Claimants in the work related activity group have been found to have limited capability for work and this is very different to being unfit for any work.

"Of course there are many limitations on the type and the amount of work people in the work related activity group can do and may also need workplace adjustments, but employment isn't ruled out.

"That is why the ESA permitted work rules are there and why they are so important.

"And this is an important distinction as this misconception helps drive people further away from the labour market, perpetuates the benefits trap, and undermines the life chances of those claimants."