IDS prepares disabled people for yet more cuts

The Work and Pensions secretary believes that work can cure illnesses


Iain Duncan Smith today announced new plans to reform the way sickness benefit is regulated. Although he did not make any policy announcements, the Work and Pensions secretary said he was keen for a new conversation about the ‘binary’ way that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) assesses whether people are fit for work.

This was Duncan Smith’s first speech since it was revealed that the DWP had used fictional characters on their website to extol the positive effect of benefit sanctions. He said that it may be the case that some people were able to work part time, and that they should be supported to do that, criticising the way that people are currently deemed fit to do all work or not fit to do any work.

Employment Support Allowance (ESA) is currently paid to those who are unable to work because of mental or physical health problems. People have their fitness to work assessed under the Work Capability Assessment, which has been criticised for subjecting seriously ill people to inappropriate assessments, at great cost to the DWP.

Duncan Smith said today that he believes these assessments should be more personalised so that they can assess whether someone might be able to work a small amount.

He said – rather chillingly – that ‘work can help keep people healthy as well as help promote recovery if someone falls ill.’ Labour have rushed to slam the speech, with leadership hopeful Andy Burnham warning that:

 “Talk of cutting support for people who are simply not able to work will strike fear into the hearts of many vulnerable people.

“The cruel and crude approach of the Tories has already driven many people to despair and this new drive will cause even more anxiety.”

What kind of policy the DWP forms out of this latest rethink remains to be seen. But it will be a nervous wait for those who face the prospect of their only income being pulled, as the government continues to cut the resources of the most vulnerable.

Ruby Stockham is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward

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5 Responses to “IDS prepares disabled people for yet more cuts”

  1. Nick

    All IDS is doing is doing by continually persecuting the long term sick and disabled is for them to live in fear which will cause their conditions to become far worse leading to complete loss of sleep and death for those that should succumb

    I think that is IDS main master plan and long term sick and disabled will need to be very careful and to make sure that their care plans are strictly adhered to and that their carers watch out for signs that the person that they care for are not deteriorating to such a level that their death occurs

    Those with mental health are extremely vulnerable And need to refrain from watching any program or news in which IDS may be speaking as they could snap at any point and end their life so their care plans which are normally implemented by their local CPN need to be strictly adhered to AT ALL TIMES

  2. Sean Garrity

    Once again this slug attacks the most vulnerable among us I would really like to see him take on someone who can defend themselves and be given a good kicking. He is a murdering cowardly lying oxygen stealing bully.
    I would suggest in the next reshuffle he is put in charge of defence, lets see how brave he is when faced by real servicemen unlike himself who resigned before he was thrown out of the forces for being ‘not fit for purpose’.

  3. AlanGiles

    If Duncan-Smith was man of integrity, what he is doing, even though it is disgusting, would at least have some vestige of respectability, but the fact that he is a compulsive liar, and expenses swindler, makes him lower than a snakes belly. Of all the creatures who pollute politics, he is the most damnable

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  5. Natalie Couchman

    I have 2 incurable conditions that get worse each day I wake one being my heart is unpredictable and I collapse anything from once to 20 times a day yet so I highly doubt being able to work would fix this this man is a moron some people have genuine reasons to claim sick like my mother for instance who is fully bed bound but because she could barely raise one arm above her head he was deemed fit for work yet every muscle joint and nerve in her body is dying so fat it has reached up past her hips and just keeps going how cam she be classed fit for work when she is dying very slowly and painfully! Bloody idiot you need to pull your head out whoevers arse you have it stuck up and help the vaunrable rather then torture them.

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