Sunak urged to put the sick to work to solve labour crisis

At breaking point: the UK’s National Health Service. Now a former Tory pensions minister thinks it should work harder to make people with short-term conditions (and Long Covid, apparently) fit to rejoin the labour force.

It’s not as bad as it looks… but that depends on what the Tories do – and we know they are ignorant, entitled, and stupid.

It seems Rishi Sunak has been looking at ways of encouraging people aged over 50 to stay in work rather than taking early retirement, to fill the enormous gaps in the UK’s workforce – but this won’t work.

Instead, according to Sir Steve Webb, who served as pensions minister in the coalition government between 2010 and 2015, Sunak should be trying to get sick people back to work.

We’ve been here before, haven’t we?

Fortunately, it seems this isn’t a new drive to kick people with serious life-altering conditions off benefits like ESA, PIP and Universal Credit.

Instead, the idea is to improve NHS treatment times to shorten waiting lists and make people fit for work quicker, rather than leaving them hanging around doing nothing.

There’s just one problem: nurses and ambulance paramedics are striking because current NHS pay and working conditions are so shocking that they can only survive with the help of food banks – meaning it is practically impossible to entice anybody to work there.

That’s a Tory plan, of course – run the NHS down to make privatisation of health care look like a good idea.

Their problem is that it means they can’t solve their workforce problems that way. And the over-50s wheeze is just tinkering at the edges.

We all know that Brexit is responsible for the labour shortage – right? – and that was a Tory policy. The deprecation of the NHS is also a Tory policy.

So the destruction of the UK economy must also be a Tory policy – and one that has been in practise since before the EU referendum in 2016.

Think about that one for a while.

Another idea was to improve care for people with Long Covid, so they recover from this long-term debilitating condition.

Good luck with that, Sunak!

There are no proven cures for the condition and the Tories haven’t exactly been exerting themselves to find one.

In fact, there seems to have been a concerted effort by the Tories to ignore Covid-19 as much as possible.

The most recent statistics show 380 deaths in the week to December 9, while 1.4 million people in the UK have the disease. The total number of deaths is now 210,837 – and that’s according to figures that few people now trust.

Hospital admissions in the UK apart from Scotland, up to December 15, stood at 6,244, up from 4,645 the previous week, and continuing an upward trend.

Still, out of sight is out of mind, right? Statistics covering the growth rate of the various will cease to be published in early January because the UK Health Security Agency says we’ve learned to live with it.

Oh, really?

I’d say 380 deaths per week suggests we’ve been taught to learn to die with it.

Source: Get the sick back to work to end Britain’s labour crisis, Rishi Sunak told

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3 thoughts on “Sunak urged to put the sick to work to solve labour crisis

  1. inkdropk

    Sir Steve Webb….One Of Nick Clegg’s Lot. Whilst they’re busy coining it in with their contacts, their actions on their role in government still continues….If he regards himself as a Liberal – in the mould of Lloyd George – Sir Steve isn’t showing it. His Orangebookers are hanging on to the vain hope that if they critique the current government – but not too much – their policies will get them back into No10 and whitehall (Maybe with their “Opponents” / “Friends” the Tories) If you want the sick to work – don’t exploit them – provide adequate support to enable them to do the job, and accept a drop in output where necessary. I don’t hold out much hope though – for despite my skills and experience – No one has provided an avenue into paid work – perhaps they don’t like the idea of understanding complex medical issues….who knows?

  2. Grey Swans

    Steve Webb as Pension Minister between 2010 and 2015 could have stopped the early works pension age rise from 50 to 55 in 2010 (from Labour’s 2004 Finance Act) that would have permitted men and women to continue to early retire from age 50 when unable to work due to ill health.

    UK working class from age 50 have the highest rate of falling out of work due to ill health of any rich country, long before the NHS fell over. 1 million women, for example, are off work due to
    severe Menopause.

    Steve Webb as Pension Minister permitted men only to continue to get unemployment or sick benefit without requirement to seek work (so not sanctioned) between ages 60 and 64 inclusive, whilst raising pension age on women and denying us women that benefit help, denying us Pension Credit and Winter Fuel Payment and state pension all from age 60 to 66. Men only lost this in 2018, after having this in Tory and Labour governments since the 1980s.

    Steve Webb was amongst the Lib Dems party in coalition that made the Tory government from 2010 possible, and thus sanctions soared even for the chronically sick and disabled people off benefit, which caused a high surge of suicide and early deaths.

    Women aged in their 50s and 60s have the highest suicide rate of any age group of women since 2011 pension age rise, that also threw that age group of ladies into the path of the end of the welfare state, whilst men kept the above help if out of work or chronic sick.

    We also died from the end of the Life Awards for disability benefit, with re-assessments even for pensioners, in our 50s and 60s.

    www dot over50sparty dot org dot uk

  3. El Dee

    This isn’t going to be the problem that it appears to be. With the rise in inflation and interest rates they estimate that this should take about half a million jobs out of the economy anyway. I’m getting a sense of de ja vu. High inflation, rising interest rates, rising unemployment and necessary workers being paid well below market value. Thatcherism lives..

Comments are closed.