Matthew Oakley: Doesn't he look smug?

Matthew Oakley: Doesn’t he look smug?

Just in case you thought This Blog approves of Matthew Oakley – think again:

Government advisor, Matthew Oakley, recently published a report titled Closing the gap: creating a framework for tackling the disability employment gap in the UK,

This report suggests a major reform of ESA and the WCA. His suggestions include scrapping the Support Group. (bolding below mine.)

“Four principles that should form the basis for reform of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and the WCA are outlined below. It is important to highlight that this would not be a cost-cutting exercise. The reforms proposed would combine existing money and aim to distribute it better on the basis of need.

Accounting for the extra costs of disability
“In effect, this would remove the Support Group element of ESA
and align benefit rates for disabled and non-disabled claimants in Universal Credit. However, it is clear that those with a disability often face extra costs of living.To meet these extra costs, existing spending on Personal Independence Payment (PIP) / Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and the support Group element of ESA should be brought together to finance a new extra costs benefit. Eligibility for this benefit should be determined on the basis of need, with an assessment replacing the WCA and PIP assessment and designed with extensive consultation.Where individuals are unable to work, there should also be a principle that the level of benefit provided is sufficient to allow them to live comfortably and engage fully in society. In the longer-term, the Government should explore whether these benefits could be set to ensure that disabled claimants are lifted out of poverty with the income they receive.”

Readers, I would like to believe that this could be a good thing. However, I tried that with PIP which was sold to disabled people as ‘focusing on what we can do not what we can’t.”

So far, the stories I have heard about PIP have been bitterly disappointing and have left me with a deep fear of being transferred from my indefinite DLA Award, so now I have strong doubts about these new ideas.

Source: Government Advisor Matthew Oakley Suggests Scrapping The Support Group | Same Difference

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