The Secretary of State for lying about benefit claimants’ health has been telling The Guardian about his latest scheme to push vulnerable people off of incapacity benefits.
According to Iain Duncan Smith, the discredited work capability assessment that governs whether a claimant can receive Employment and Support Allowance is “very binary”, as a person is either well enough to work full-time, or too unwell to work at all. Is it?
Of course not. The assessment has been criticised for being used to claim that people can work when they are too ill to do so, but nobody has complained that it has failed to explain the amount of work they can do; whether a person works part-time or full-time is of no concern to the WCA.
No, this is another attack on people who are currently found unfit for work. The Gentleman Ranker wants to tell the very sick that their receipt of benefit – and the amount they will get – should be conditional on the amount of work he tells them they can do.
There’s no sign of any medical evidence being accepted back into the assessment procedure so, again, there is no reason to believe there will be any rational basis for the decisions that will be made.
Here’s what he has to say about it:
Discussing his next planned wave of changes, Duncan Smith admitted the WCA, which has been condemned as demeaning by its critics, suffered from design faults and “perverse incentives”.
He said: “It is very binary. You still have to decide is somebody well enough to work full time or too sick to work at all. My point is that, when you get down to it, at the fundamental heart of it lies a single flaw, which is that it is an absolute.
“My sense was if you just looked at disability living allowance, that doesn’t reach the same absolute. The test is not about ‘can you work or can’t you work?’ It is looking at your condition and deciding on what level was your condition.”
He believes that once ESA is integrated into universal credit, probably in the second half of the parliament, it will be possible to provide a more personalised return-to-work plan and so see a reduction in the numbers claiming.
If this goes through, expect an exponential increase in the number of benefit-related deaths.
One wonders how the DWP will hush it up this time.
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