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Tory manifesto: no clues on benefits cuts but threats of compulsory treatment

The Conservative manifesto launched today gives no further clues about which benefits they intend to slash in order to cut £12 billion from the social security budget. The manifesto does, however, include plans to look at enforced treatment for people with long-term health conditions.

The 83 page document repeatedly confirms the Conservative’s plan to find £12 billion in ‘welfare savings’. But little more than a page is devoted to the details of how ‘welfare savings’ are to be achieved.

The manifesto confirms that the household benefits cap will be lowered from £26,000 t0 £23,000 - with exemptions for people getting disability living allowance or personal independence payment.

There is also confirmation of the freeze on working age benefits for two years from April 2016, with exemptions for some benefits, including disability benefits.

The manifesto pledges that the Conservatives will ‘work to eliminate child poverty’ which, in the Conservative’s view is caused by ‘entrenched worklessness, family breakdown, problem debt, and drug and alcohol dependency’ .

To aid their attack on poverty the Tories have also committed to review how people with long-term treatable conditions ‘such as drug or alcohol addiction, or obesity’, can be helped back into work. People who refuse help will face having their benefits cut, as the manifesto explains:

‘People who might benefit from treatment should get the medical help they need so they can return to work. If they refuse a recommended treatment, we will review whether their benefits should be reduced.

There is also a promise of ‘significant new support for mental health, benefiting thousands of people claiming out-of-work benefits or being supported by Fit for Work’.

Whether refusing this help, likely to be primarily online and telephone-based cognitive behavioural therapy, will also lead to benefits cuts was not discussed in the document.

However, there is no doubt that conditions such as anxiety and depression are regarded as ‘treatable’ conditions by the DWP. There is, therefore, no obvious logical reason why they should not be dealt with in a similar way to conditions such as substance dependency, which will very frequently have a mental health element.

The Tory manifesto also promises to extend the right to buy to tenants of housing association homes. Whether some claimants in social housing will consider voting for Tory benefits cuts in the hope they will then get a chance to own a home of their own remains to be seen.

But, for most claimants, the Conservative manifesto simply prolongs the terrible anxiety of not knowing how deeply their benefits will be slashed if the Tories win power on May 7th.

Comments  

#21 Jim Allison 2015-04-24 20:03
There also also issues of 'human rights' enshrined in the Geneva Convention which originally was drawn up in times of war to ensure 'prisoners of war' were treated fairly etc.

However, in recent time, the Geneva Convention on Human Rights now includes United Nations law. See : hrweb.com
+1 #20 Acorn Antiques 2015-04-23 22:43
Quoting Drizzle:
Forced treatment for my mental health problems really scares me. :sad: I've had several lots of psychological treatment over the years and it's only served to make things worse. To be honest, I don't think CBT even helps that many people with severe mental health problems.

Didn't a Tory minister recently say something along the lines of we can't force people with mental health problems to have treatment as it won't work if there's resistance to it? That's very true, but it seems from the above that won't stop them punishing people like me who have treatment resistant depression. Any kind of pressure seriously aggravates my condition but they won't care about that if saves them money...


I know how you feel. And CBT only works for people mildly depressed or with uncontrolled anxiety, I think. The assumption is that every depression is the same, that all depressed people are in a self-pity rut, and if they only replaced their bad thoughts with good ones, they would feel better. Wonderful! 34 years of struggle gone in just 6 short lessons. Wa-hey! I'll write myself up some postit notes and, next time I am suicidal, I'll read the one that says 'isn't the sunshine beautiful' and go out and get a job.
+1 #19 Acorn Antiques 2015-04-23 22:36
Quoting micksville:
Interesting to read the section re treatable conditions. Drug drink addictions and obesity are easy targets for IDS but other areas could prove a legal minefield. For instance I need an operation that has been put off for years as I was too young, however, due to very poor mobility stemming from my injuries I have gained a lot of weight over the years....there are also other complications and morbidities since that make that operatjon a significant risk at best or potentially fatal at worst now. My obesity is not why I am on benefits, rather its a consequence of my injuries and disability. Would the tories see me as treatable and force me into an operation? I think nog, but you jever know with them. It could be a legal minefield, depending on how niggardly ghey want to interpret it.

-I hate the idea that all obesity can be 'treated' or altered- and I hate that so many think that an overweight person is overweight because they sit about eating cake!

I became 3 stone overweight when I was on a particular anti-depressant . I came off that and onto a mood-stabiliser , a different class of drug, in March 2013. I lost the weight way too quickly- it dropped off me in 4 months. As a result I had gallstone attacks and had my gallbladder removed just 8 months ago. This illustrates how medicines' side effects can affect your life, too.

How would they 'treat' a person whose weight gain is due to the medicine they're on? Especially if your GP doesn't accept it, and tells you, 'the only thing keeping you fat is what goes in your mouth?' (to which I replied, 'Where do you think I'm sticking the tablets?')

It's another example of people at high level, who know nothing about a condition, dictating what treatment will work. It's the same in education, with non teachers re-writing the procedures by which teachers have to teach... as the wife of a primary school teacher, don't get me going on that one...
#18 Puccalove 2015-04-22 16:20
Lots of interesting points made here especially Jim.

"Forcing treatment on you against your will is assault."

Would this count for CBT which is essentially just talking?
+2 #17 Puccalove 2015-04-22 16:14
‘People who might benefit from treatment should get the medical help they need so they can return to work. If they refuse a recommended treatment, we will review whether their benefits should be reduced.

Surely refusing medical treatment is a human right?
+3 #16 Puccalove 2015-04-22 16:12
"The manifesto pledges that the Conservatives will ‘work to eliminate child poverty’ which, in the Conservative’s view is caused by ‘entrenched worklessness, family breakdown, problem debt, and drug and alcohol dependency’ ."

This is the wrong way round. These things are caused by poverty.
-1 #15 cats6 2015-04-21 14:04
[quote name="buster"]T hankfully, there are a few people about who are trying to force the Tories to give an honest answer to the simple question of where will the 12 billion pounds worth of social security cuts fall.


Only 12Billion Try more like 30Billion, Pushing towards 50B, is going to be cut over the next 3-5 years and to make clear labour are also signed upto a large part of going ahead with those cuts.

Vote SNP, The greenParty, PlaidCymru, SocialistPart and any Independent Left wing candidate standing.

Oh and for those out there, to make clear anybody, with the silly notions of "Ooh i dont like him or her nonsense",

If you vote Tory or Labour or Ukip then as a disabled person/ not ever able to go in to work,

All you will be doing is cutting your own throats and therefore deserve all that is coming your way! Pity the rest of us have to suffer as a result ! of others making bad voting decisions
+2 #14 cats6 2015-04-21 02:21
Quote:
Quoting Jim Allison:
Plus the right to refuse treatment comes within the remit of the Human Rights Act.


I believe the Tory manifesto says they will scrap the Human Rights Act. I wonder why?
You are correct,,,, they are going to bring in private companies that will be offering a franchise to re-ablement/ enablement teams, who will take on the disabled and sign post them, well, to re-ablement teams before they can get to local social services for care, it will be mandatory treatment to keep claiming benefits.
+4 #13 Paul Richards 2015-04-16 22:03
Hi all,
Just seen the 'debate' tonight - to be honest regarding Labour's (Ed Miliband's) stance - absolutely nothing for the poor, the vulnerable, the sick and disabled has changed - all he had to say was to 'support working families'! He actively attacked (at the end of it) Nicola Sturgeon who really offered him support (to kick out the Tories). For goodness sake what is he thinking about - he should have fully supported Nicola Sturgeon - not unless there is some other (secret) deal in the offing, if Labour does eventually get in.
As the probable leader of a minority government, he was adamant that he would not go into coalition with the SNP - I simply could not believe what I was hearing.
Is he (Miliband) a Tory 'Lite' I ask myself. Is he SO disattached from the ordinary (especially the poor, the sick and the disabled) that he cannot support ANY of these groups. After all, he NEVER MENTIONED ANY OF THESE GROUPS ONCE - AND HE HAD A FEW CHANCES TO DO JUST THIS.
If so, then he should be totally ashamed of himself.
I am not a Natalie Bennett (Green) fan, but at the end she also attacked Miliband regarding this matter - even she could see that he (Miliband) did not give a tuppeny sh*t about the disadvantaged of Britain. She mentioned 'ATOS' and 'food banks' and the totally discredited 'Work Capability Assessment' - Miliband DID NOT ANSWER - IN FACT HE SMIRKED AT HER.
In this General Election, unfortunately (due to the still FPTP system) we have just only 2 choices before us - the hated Tories and the only just less hated Labour Party (this only due to their non-stated policies)
What a shambles - 2 choices - a 'Neo-Nazi' right-wing Tory Party and a 'Labour' (Leader - Miliband!) who is really only interested in looking after the 'middle and upper classes' - DISGRACEFUL.
And finally - the terrible 'Neo-Nazi' idea of putting wristbands on people with 'mental health' conditions - HE SHOULD BE ASHAMED ALSO.
+5 #12 Mockingbird 2015-04-16 12:56
I am sure if some DWP employee who threatens sanctions if a claimant refuses treatment, is told they personally will be the subject of legal action, for causing harm, they may not be so eager to proceed. As a department they like to throw their weight about, but if stress is turned on the individuals making decisions it opens up a different ballgame. I personally would retaliate against anyone who impacts on my already distressing health related issues. I would hope others would do the same. Anyone with any self respect wouldn't do the govs dirty work but those who do should not be let off with bullying the weakest. IMO
+2 #11 tintack 2015-04-15 18:20
Quoting Jim Allison:
Plus the right to refuse treatment comes within the remit of the Human Rights Act.


I believe the Tory manifesto says they will scrap the Human Rights Act. I wonder why?
#10 b s 2015-04-15 12:07
Another brainless idea,
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/04/14/tory-candidate-chamali-fernando-suggests-people-with-mental-health-issues-should-wear-identifying-wristbands_n_7065968.html
+3 #9 angela 2015-04-15 07:54
Conservatives will ‘work to eliminate child poverty with all the benefit cuts they are the ones causing this have they got no sense
#8 Jim Allison 2015-04-14 20:25
Quote:
Whilst the DWP obviously couldn't literally force people to undergo treatment, many will be left with no choice if they're threatened with benefit cuts upon refusal.
Lots of legislation on refusing treatment see www.gmc-uk.org/guidance/ethical_guidance/consent_guidance_common_law.asp

Plus the right to refuse treatment comes within the remit of the Human Rights Act. was hoping to find more case law on right to refuse treatment, but unfortunately all the sites I could find required paid membership.

Also, doctors who tried to force treatment on someone who clearly did not want the treatment would be severely dealt with by the GMC.

I I will keep looking, but have to logout now, time for my thrice daily oxygen in 5 minutes.
+3 #7 Drizzle 2015-04-14 18:51
Quoting Jim Allison:
Forcing treatment on you against your will is assault. If you are assaulted, you should contact your Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) or NHS Trust to make a complaint. Your local HealthWatch, local independent advocacy service or hospital-based PALS service may be able to help you take the complaint further. You may also wish to involve the police.


Whilst the DWP obviously couldn't literally force people to undergo treatment, many will be left with no choice if they're threatened with benefit cuts upon refusal.
+2 #6 Jim Allison 2015-04-14 18:07
You can refuse any treatment if you wish (but see under www.adviceguide.org.uk/england/healthcare_e/healthcare_nhs_healthcare_e/nhs_patients_rights.htm# on consent.)

.When you visit a doctor, this usually implies consent to examination and treatment. The doctor cannot act against specific instructions, so you should tell the doctor about any treatment you do not want.

If there are a number of alternative treatments which can be used to treat your condition, you should be given information on these. However, you cannot insist on a particular treatment if the doctor or consultant thinks this is not appropriate.

Forcing treatment on you against your will is assault. If you are assaulted, you should contact your Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) or NHS Trust to make a complaint. Your local HealthWatch, local independent advocacy service or hospital-based PALS service may be able to help you take the complaint further. You may also wish to involve the police.
+5 #5 Bill24chev 2015-04-14 17:29
Not a cynic. BUT I wonder how much of the £8billion "windfall" that the NHS will receive will go towards forced treatment of Benefit Claimants?
+7 #4 Drizzle 2015-04-14 17:16
Forced treatment for my mental health problems really scares me. :sad: I've had several lots of psychological treatment over the years and it's only served to make things worse. To be honest, I don't think CBT even helps that many people with severe mental health problems.

Didn't a Tory minister recently say something along the lines of we can't force people with mental health problems to have treatment as it won't work if there's resistance to it? That's very true, but it seems from the above that won't stop them punishing people like me who have treatment resistant depression. Any kind of pressure seriously aggravates my condition but they won't care about that if saves them money...
+7 #3 b s 2015-04-14 16:45
Cameron stated earlier today "we will offer a good life for all"
unless of course you just happen to be through no fault of your own poor, sick, unemployed, disabled and not forgetting elderly..
+5 #2 micksville 2015-04-14 15:46
Interesting to read the section re treatable conditions. Drug drink addictions and obesity are easy targets for IDS but other areas could prove a legal minefield. For instance I need an operation that has been put off for years as I was too young, however, due to very poor mobility stemming from my injuries I have gained a lot of weight over the years....there are also other complications and morbidities since that make that operatjon a significant risk at best or potentially fatal at worst now. My obesity is not why I am on benefits, rather its a consequence of my injuries and disability. Would the tories see me as treatable and force me into an operation? I think nog, but you jever know with them. It could be a legal minefield, depending on how niggardly ghey want to interpret it.

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