Iain Duncan Smith tells disabled people to work their way out of poverty


The Work and Pensions Secretary criticised what he dubbed Labour’s “something for nothing culture”, and also dismissed protests against his policies, which his party’s conference has been subject to.

In his wide-ranging speech, Mr Duncan Smith also criticised the old Employment Support Allowance benefit for signing people off work when they were judged by doctors as too sick to work.

Source: Iain Duncan Smith tells disabled people to work their way out of poverty | UK Politics | News | The Independent

He criticised ESA for signing people off work when doctors said they were too sick to work?

Let’s all just think about how wrong he was to do that.

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23 thoughts on “Iain Duncan Smith tells disabled people to work their way out of poverty

  1. Patrick

    Idiot Does Sums is utterly clueless. He approaches the problem of disability from the ‘one size fits all’ perspective. We all know this is nonsense. There is such a wide diversity of disability that this can never work. He is unable to grasp that, hard as they try, the medical profession can’t always offer solutions which will enable disabled people to work. You only have to look at the matter of pain control. We are offered pain management courses because pain is not a simple problem. Take these tablets and Bob’s your uncle is not the answer. I doubt he knows that there are Pain Clinics in every hopital in the country constantly trying to find the right balance of medication to on the one hand control the pain and on the other hand to let patients live something like a normal life. Only a simpleton thinks there is a simple answer and they don’t come any simpler than THE DEADLY DUD IDS.

    1. lanzalaco

      yes, good points. But does IDS really think that one size fits all. I presume, and anybody reasonable would that IDS is aiming his ideas at a specific segment who are fluctuating in and out of health, but still might have a 16 good hours a week, even if just at home.

      All I take from IDS and the tories approach is this. They are basically saying, we will continue to support the disabled as much as we can in the context of austerity, but for some of you (depending on medical reports) we are asking that try to find 16 hours of weekly activity with some type of economic activity. Be it running an ebay shop or whatever, just think about your spare time in economic terms and try to put that in practise. Or failing that just 4-8 hours a week on supported permitted work. Why is this a problem, it is an opportunity, yes.. no ?

      What they appear to want for that segment is just to get creative and try anything. Self employed disabled tax credits or permitted work supports you to try anything basically. There are very few restrictions. So surely this flexibility is a big improvement on the old system where any ambition like that had to be realised on the side ?

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        People with fluctuating health conditions cannot tell when they are going to feel good or not. It is impossible, therefore, for them to fit into any kind of work pattern that an employer would accept. Also, a ‘good’ day still might not equal an ‘able to work’ day.

        Of course, Tories saying they’ll support people in the context of austerity is a non-sequitur. Austerity implies they want to cut as much spending as they can, and we have seen that benefits are an easy target. Also, bear in mind that if they decide anyone can work, they’re not asking!

        Do you know how much effort goes into selling items on eBay? If you did, you might not use it as an example.

        Your suggestions show naivete – or at least a lack of understanding of the situation.

  2. A-Brightfuture

    So he admits it then, disabled people do live in poverty. I thought he said the benefit system was generous.
    Obviously not.

  3. Gary Aronsson

    What he really means is that we will work for free,every boss’s ultimate wet dream is to have a submissive,hard working labour force who knock their guts out for f*** all, and THAT is what IDS is intent on providing them with.

  4. Nick

    ESA support is for those that cant work like myself who have many ailments and are frail with low body weight

    whats wrong with that mike ? how could i work at 8 stone when i need to rest for up to 16 hours a day to keep my weight stable ?

    i don’t like it anymore then IDS doesn’t like it maybe he needs to work at getting me a exit visa for another country ?

    i don’t mind i am more then capable of fitting in with decent people beside me only as they will need to keep there eye on me it’s pretty basic for a decent person to do it’s not rocket science

    IDS probably wouldn’t understand if i had no money to live in in fact it was me that made a suggestion that getting rid of the likes of me out of the country at the age of 60 plus would save money

    my tory mp thought it was a great idea as it would mean that my benefits could be halved as my ongoing costs in another 3rd world country would also be halved and if this was applied to all of those over 60 the savings would amount to 1 billion per year

    IDS over to you ?

      1. Nick

        It is mike but that’s how IDS thinks and could be his next move
        This idea of mine only came about so that i could get some peace from the DWP as i would no longer be in the country

        my tory mp thought it great and for the likes of myself would be a blessing so mentally i’m stuck with it but yes your right it is appalling but for many today that’s life and my idea is the only one option on the table that can save lives and for those that could look at the benefits of living abroad

        the current migration polices for those aged 60 living overseas are that you must be financially viable

        now for many if they sell there home and move like for like to a cheaper country they will have a large sum of money left over once they have purchased their new home that and a smaller benefit would make it viable for some sick and disabled

        you have to remember that uk benefits are payable in full if you move out to the EU or Switzerland

        what people don’t know is that there are other countries in which uk benefits can be payable

        2. Where you can claim benefits
        European Economic Area (EEA) countries
        The following countries have benefits arrangements with the UK:

        Czech Republic
        Switzerland isn’t a member of the EEA but is treated as an EEA country for certain benefits.

        Other countries with UK benefits arrangements
        The following countries have social security agreements with the UK:

        Bosnia and Herzegovina
        Channel Islands
        New Zealand
        the Philippines
        You may be able to claim certain benefits in these countries but it will depend on the particular country.

        All my view was in that you could pay less UK benefits to those aged 60 or over if you wonted to save money to get them to leave

        it wouldn’t suit everyone of course but for some who would have wonted to retire abroad but cant through poor health that little bit of extra income could make all the difference while at the same time lowering the welfare bill

        As i say mike this idea of mine is like IDS policies off the scale and that’s with much regret as for me to even think on these lines shows how living with the DWP over many years has taken it’s toll on me and where i have been able to survive as we all know many have not and this idea however floored is all i could come up with so dont be to hard on me 🙂

  5. AndyH

    IDS spent five years switching everyone from IB to ESA. He claimed almost everyone on IB was a shirker who really could work – but the handful of people who really were ill would be identified via the vigorous and independent WCA (and would be rewarded with a whole extra fiver a week). The WCA revealed the reality that everyone on IB (with an exception of 0.3% of people) was on the benefit legitimately. Now IDS is attacking ESA in the way he attacked IB. His policies are driven by ideology rather than facts – that and his insane conviction that being on sickness benefit is a choice.

  6. AndyH

    Invalidity benefit was replaced by severe disablement allowance – which was replaced by incapacity benefit – which was replaced by employment and support allowance. Every decade or so a new disability benefit is rolled out.

    1. wildswimmerpete

      @Andy H
      Invalidity Benefit simply morphed straight into Incapacity benefit – I was on it at the time. One big change was that doing Permitted Work the maximum you could earn was £5pw, under the new rules you could now earn £20pw. At the same time the form applying for permission to undertake Permitted Work was reduced to just one page.

  7. Bill Kruse

    Why would anyone be surprised at what IDS comes out with? If benefits can be done away with it opens up a multi-multi-billion pound market for Unum who we all know are behind these so-called ‘welfare reforms’. No doubt IDS stands to become a multi-multi-millionaire from helping to bring this change about. If a few million people die early in the process, why would he care? Expect more of the same.

  8. Stephen

    Talk about a Messiah Complex! Not so much “Pick up your beds and walk” more of a “Pick up your beds and work”! The bloke is 100% barking mad.

  9. lanzalaco

    I looked for this quote. IDS said “Look, work actually helps free people”, He is clearly saying this on context that for most people work is freedom. Where realizable and under good work circumstances it increases fitness such as cardiovascular, general discipline, social outlook, cognitive attention (at a basic level), and over the longer term the ability to travel and be upwardly mobile.

    Badly implemented clearly it induces suffering, however bear in mind the tories approach to disabled work is based on some EU research which portrays overall positive results. Not for everybody of course, but this whole nazi comparison line is just stretching beyond reality so far, its counterproductive. However the fact that IDS shut down remploy and the way he did it, does make me think he employs these slogans in a very condescending and perhaps dishonest manner. Its hard to tell as I dont know much about him. Maybe work program providers sold him on better programs than remploy and he bought into that. If we make the assumptions that the tories are reasonable, then we should consider that they are maybe the product of what appears like reasonable ideas, policies, information, contractors based on who they interface with. And to the tories, they say, well it looks worth a go, and what is the alternative, a wrecked economy and social entropy ? I just try to see it how they do.. I am not Tory BTW ! I dont believe in right or left wing.

    It is good to reflect on how systems setup for the greater good can degenerate (without regulation) into forced labour and horrible conditions. But then why does Mike not address that on its own terms ? Work conditions are a major area for scientific research for example. I contributed to some neuro-psychological research on motivation in older adults which was very interesting. You can tell from this research that governments do want good info. Whether IDS listens to that is another thing.

  10. NMac

    Duncan-Smith is arguably the most nasty, dishonest and corrupt individual in the present Tory line-up, and there are an awful lot of them to choose from.

    1. lanzalaco

      yet almost a majority of England have voted for him to preside over them for welfare for another term. And this is with full knowledge of how he operates. So what does this say about the electorate is the real issue ?

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        No – only 24 per cent of the electorate voted Tory and they only voted to support the Conservative candidate in their constituency. UK democracy does not work in a way that would allow a person not in Chingford and Woodford Green to support Iain Duncan Smith working in any government job. His own constituents only voted to have him as their MP, and even then, only 22,000 of them actually supported it. Around 42,000 either voted for somebody else or didn’t vote at all.
        There is an issue about what this says about the electorate, because a majority of people in his constituency could have outvoted those who supported him. But your assumptions are mistaken.

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