Ministers back down on ‘mandatory’ activity for ESA support group | Disability News Service

The Department for Work and Pensions office in London.

This Writer wonders who wrote the Tories’ work, health and disability strategy for them.

(Obviously they wouldn’t have had anything to do with it themselves – look at the result of their claim that they arranged Brexit impact assessments!)

Would this work, health and disability strategy have been written by the Unum Insurance Corporation, by any chance?

Ministers have backed down – at least temporarily – from plans to force all sick and disabled people on out-of-work disability benefits to take part in compulsory work-related activity.

There was an outcry among disabled campaigners last year when the government’s work, health and disability green paper suggested that claimants of employment and support allowance (ESA) with the highest support needs could be told to stay in regular touch with their local jobcentre, or risk having their benefits sanctioned.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Department of Health (DH) finally published their joint response to the Improving Lives green paper last week, and it stressed that respondents to the green paper had been “clear that accessing any support [for claimants in these groups]should be voluntary”.

A DWP spokesman said the government had listened to responses to the green paper and was now “researching and trialling activities people in the support group would be able to undertake on a voluntary basis”, although he refused to rule out the possibility of compulsory work-related activity being introduced in the future.

The 10-year work, health and disability strategy includes proposals across social security, the workplace and healthcare, in response to a consultation on last October’s green paper which produced about 6,000 comments, including more than 3,000 emails.

Source: Improving Lives: Ministers back down on ‘mandatory’ activity for ESA support group

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7 thoughts on “Ministers back down on ‘mandatory’ activity for ESA support group | Disability News Service

  1. Brian

    If, we were living in 1938, in Germany, under Hitler’s rein, this would be a mirror image of events. It was decrees that Jews were to be written into legislation that they should be ‘Retrained’ via the Arbeit (work) program. By legitimizing such discrimination, they succeeded in normalizing hate against minorities (that included the feeble and disabled). We have seen direct evidence of this occurring from Hammond, who thought it was OK to label the sick and disabled as the reason for poor UK productivity. It’s been said before, but substitute his word of ‘disabled’ for say woman to get his true drift. What next, ’employment’ camps.

  2. Bill Hasan

    If the assessments are going to be voluntary, will the people that have had their benefits stopped start receiving them with all the back pay?

  3. Dave Rowlands

    And we all know the truth, if this lot are still in power then even those with a terminal condition will be forced to “keep in touch” with their “local jobcentre” or end up being sanctioned. The conservatives simply don’t care about anyone that can’t support their greed.

  4. Florence

    Reading the whole article, it seems like more of the same from the Tories, big stick, no carrot. One part especially struck me – when discussing “extra support” (that chilling phrase that usually means extra harsh) for a group that includes “ex-carers, ex-prisoners the homeless and substance abusers”.. …. Mike, I wonder how you feel knowing you are included, as a carer, in that particular cohort? I know a person who is a carer, her husband died and within a week she was summonses for a DWP work -focussed interview. Cruel. But not surprising, really.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I’d go self-employed immediately and step up my activities on VP – but I sincerely hope nothing is about to happen to Mrs Mike!

  5. Brian

    Just as a post note on this, you may recall that Reassessments are an ‘invitation’, but one which can not be refused without the stated loss of benefits, I smell a hole in this legislation!

Comments are closed.