Tory benefit changes mean around 1m people may be forced into work they can’t do

[Image: Black Triangle Campaign].

The Tories are bringing this nightmare back again.

Jeremy Hunt’s Budget announcement that he is ending the Work Capability Assessment has turned out not to be the relief so many benefit claimants with long-term illnesses thought it would be.

He is ending the Limited Capability for Work-Related Activity element of Universal Credit, meaning that people who received it may now have to seek work under the new Personal Independence Payment system.

They’ll need to claim the new UC health element, and to do that they must also be eligible for Personal Independence Payment – and under this system they may also be required to seek work or accept job offers.

Additionally, assessments will now be carried out by work coaches from the Department for Work and Pensions, rather than the (so-called) health professionals who currently carry out the much-maligned WCAs.

There are fears that these civil servants will not have the proper training to identify claimants’ conditions and needs, and may be set target numbers of people they have to try to force into work, which they will impose on disabled people.

The Institute of Fiscal Studies think tank has estimated that a million people could be forced into work and 600,000 could lose an estimated £350 per month in support as a result of the change.

Hunt has been up-front about the intention behind the change: it’s to push people into work who would not otherwise have sought it.

The problem is that it may push people into work who simply cannot do it.

Experience has shown us what happens when the government forces people with long-term illnesses and disabilities to seek work:

They are rejected by employers – or find that they simply cannot do the work. Unsuitable for employment, and unable to claim benefits, they either starve to death or die of their health conditions.

We have seen it before – many times, in the years since the Tories came back into office in 2010.

It is scandalous that Jeremy Hunt is talking up a change that may make unendurable the lives of people who are already among the UK’s most vulnerable.

Source: Disability benefit changes: ‘My disability means I cannot work but I worry I’ll be forced to by the new rules’

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  1. Stu March 24, 2023 at 5:16 am - Reply

    I was wating for the details of how this would be implemented and now it’s turned out to be even more backwards and crueler than I had imagined.

    The Daily Heil was quietly supporting it, so I was imeediately suspicious then.
    Their Latin scroll beneath their logo should actually read “urinae in fonte veritatis ab anno 1896” (Pissing in the Fountain of Truth since 1986).

  2. Simon Lee Mountford March 24, 2023 at 9:58 am - Reply

    Does that not suprise people with Disabilities or those with Mental health issues, It is so ironic that the Conservative abolished the Remploy program.
    And we as a group of people if you do get into employment there are no support in place to HELP you to stay in a job.
    And normally companies are reluctant to make adjustments as they do not want to BABY Sit us which is not normally the case, Obsticales are always put in front of us rather than find ways that are applicable to us and so we can get contiuity of employment. It would be also nice if they had a consultation with us to what we want.

  3. mohandeer March 24, 2023 at 10:39 am - Reply

    I’m not sure there is any way out of this. The Panorama programme highlighted a council employing a “health assessment” officer who was caught bragging about how he met his targets of refusing benefits to disabled people through his “assessments” and it earned him thousands of pounds, his manager was also fully aware of what her employee was doing. The Work Capability Assessments were always subject to lying self serving unqualified and un repentant health care people(I won’t dignify them with the title of professionals). Voting Labour won’t change that because Yvette Cooper was the person who agreed these fabricated assessments way back when she had the power to say no. Under THAT Labour Party(the same kind Starmer & his self serving elites are currently fobbing off as THE Labour Party(a democratic socialist party)they had the same contempt for the disabled “useless eaters” as the Tories.
    If Corbyn cannot stand as an Independent and convince Union members to withhold the Labour Party contributions element of their Union dues, then the status quo remains. The only other weapon we have is to deny both Tory and Labour by voting tactically for a hung Parliament.
    God help the disabled and their families if we cannot rid ourselves of the Tories and Starmer’s Labour.

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