Tories lied again: The Work Capability Assessment is back

The new Tory way to tell whether a sick or disabled person can work: it’s quite an old cartoon by now – but it still works because it is more or less accurate.

That was nice while it lasted, wasn’t it?

Remember when Jeremy Hunt announced a plan to scrap Work Capability Assessments for sickness benefits in his first spring budget earlier this year?

Well, it seems the Tories have changed their collective mind because Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride has launched a consultation on proposed changes to the work capability assessment – the test aimed at establishing how a disability or illness limits a claimant’s ability to work.

According to the BBC, the proposals include:

  • Updating the categories associated with mobility and social interaction
  • Reflecting flexible and home working – and minimising the risk of these issues causing problems for workers
  • Providing “tailored support” for those found capable of work preparation activity in light of the proposed changes

The consultation is expected to run for eight weeks, and the Government hopes the reforms will come into force by 2025 – which will be after the next general election.

The BBC fails to include a link to the government consultation

Reading between the lines, it seems Stride wants to change the guidelines so that people who are too ill to work will be deemed to be perfectly capable of doing so – possibly by working from home.

The BBC report features a dissenting view from James Taylor, executive director of strategy at disability equality charity Scope, said if people are forced to look for work when they are unwell this could make them even “more ill”.

“If they don’t meet strict conditions, they’ll have their benefits stopped. In the grips of a cost-of-living crisis this could be catastrophic,” he added.

Yeah – we’ve witnessed such catastrophic situations before under Tory governments since 2010. Thousands of people died when they should not have had to.

Labour’s Debbie Abrahams, who has worked to help sick and disabled people in danger due to government policies, highlighted the problems with the Tory approach in Parliament:

The BBC article fails to include a link to the government consultation. You can find it at

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3 thoughts on “Tories lied again: The Work Capability Assessment is back

  1. Stu

    It really makes you wonder what kind of people / Consultants come up with these ideas.
    As predicted, they are “tinkering” with the WCA (Whilst Phasing it Out) and making the PIP Assessment impossible to give out awards.
    This is a PR exercise designed purely to scare the “scroungers” into work and make the Tories look more electable by appearing to be clamping down on Benefit Fraud – we’ve been here before !

    All that will be achieved is that genuinely ill claimants will be even more terrified (Tories like that) and the hard-nosed ones will find a new angle, then it all changes next Election.

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