A whistleblower revealed the sickening attitude of some Work Programme contractors towards disabled people last night.
Linda Smith, a former employee of Triage (which operates in Scotland and the north of England), told the BBC’s Panorama disabled and jobless people were referred to as “lying, thieving, bastards”, with disabled clients never asked how they are when spoken to.
Here’s the key exchange:
LS: “Never ever ask how they are. When you go out to greet them, to bring them in to their appointment, to their meeting time, never ask how they are.”
BBC: “Why not?”
LS: “You spend too much time then because they would want to tell you all about what was wrong with them. Their words, not mine, I have to say. Never ever ask anybody with a disability benefit how they are.”
BBC: “It was difficult to accept what Linda Smith said next. According to her, this was how some staff talked about clients…”
LS: “They were all LTBs – lying, thieving bastards.”
BBC: “Who were?”
LS: “The clients. That’s how they are referred to, as clients, you’re a lying, thieving bastard.”
BBC: “These were clients that you had been employed to help?”
LS: “To support and help back into employment, yeah.”
The BBC also revealed a number of former Triage employees confirm they too had heard this term being used.
• The nasty department: DWP threaten to take disabled children away from parents – August 2nd, 2012
• The DWP’s ‘scrounger’ rhetoric is causing real harm – February 6th, 2012
• Look Left – The human cost of the government’s inhumane welfare reforms – January 20th, 2012
• Fighting disability hate crime is the minimum the government should be doing – November 7th, 2011
• Miliband must stop spreading myths about benefit claimants – September 28th, 2011