Open Letter In The Guardian

2/25/2011 11:39:00 am BenefitScroungingScum 2 Comments


The government's implementation of welfare reform is destroying the covenant of care between disabled people and the welfare state (Report, 23 February). The most vulnerable people in our country are being subjected to cruelty. The work capability assessment is not fit for purpose. It is denying employment support allowance to those whom the 2007 Welfare Reform Act deemed it not reasonable to require to work.

The assessment lacks public and medical accountability. Criteria about what constitutes an "illness" and a "disability" have been increasingly narrowed over the years into a set of descriptors that fail to recognise the complex problems and needs of those who are mentally ill, or who have intermittent illnesses or communicative conditions.

We want a system that is flexible and supportive of disabled people and which helps people into good, appropriate jobs with decent wages. One that values and supports those who are unable to work, and that insures us all against the misfortunes of illness and disability.

Jon Cruddas MP Labour, Dagenham & Rainham, Neil Coyle Director of policy, Disability Alliance, Anna Healy Labour, House of Lords, Gavin Hayes General secretary, Compass, Professor Jonathan Rutherford Middlesex University, Professor Peter Beresford Brunel University, Steve Griffiths Researcher and Consultant, Rhydian Fôn James The Broken of Britain, Frances Kelly, Rosemary O'Neil Carerwatch, Alison Wiles, Anna Kennedy, Carole Rutherford co-founders, Act Now -


Dray said...

Have you considered, with the greatest respect, that it's not that simple?

The fact that the assessment of DLA - even in 2013, will not be carried out by medical personnel?

Yup, you've touched on it in the past, but I suspect in your attempts to be concise you've blurred the distinction, as often happens, between DLA and Esa.

Esa is means tested and is available to those who are employed or available to work. DLA isn't means tested. You can work and be awarded DLA.

See where you're at, and the intricacies of your posts, but I worry that you over simplify in your posts.

Respect. Dray x

Believe me, TBoB know the distinction. The thing is that the PIP is being aimed primarily at DLA being a "way into work". So whilst aware that right now, ESA and DLA are two different things, the way the new benefit will work, it will remove the distinction, thus "over-simplifying" the system.

This is just one response at the moment to said blurring - but there have been other responses which address the issue in more depth.