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IDS plotting major changes to WCA to cut ESA numbers

Iain Duncan Smithy will warn in a speech today that he is planning major changes to the work capability assessment in order to make it harder to claim employment and support allowance (ESA), according to the Independent.

IDS will say that:

“When ESA was introduced in 2008 it was intended to be a short-term benefit, with the vast majority of people being helped to return to work.

“ESA may have been designed with the right intentions, but at its heart lay a fundamental flaw. It is a system that decides you are either capable of work or you are not. This needs to change – things are rarely that simplistic.

“We need to look at the assessment we use for ESA – and I want to look at changing it so that it is better geared towards helping to get people prepared for and into what work they may be capable of, rather than parking them beyond work.”

IDS has not yet given a timetable for when any changes are likely to happen or what form they will take.

The only certainty is that the announcement will lead to more fear and misery for sick and disabled claimants as they wait to discover how the WCA is to be made even harsher.

You can read the full story in the Independent

Comments  

#38 tintack 2015-09-10 18:40
Quoting Steve Lynn:
Hi all

I have just had a letter from the DWP on september the 6th
Saying that my benefit is changing and that i will be recieving a call from them within two weeks of the letter.
I have been in receipt of income support and ib since leaving school, and am totally dumbfounded by what is going on after becoming a member of this great site.
I havnt had the phone call from the dwp yet to say that im getting an esa50 in the post.
I was crushed by the wheels of a lorry when i was just 13 years old which left me with mobility problems, and need help in my every day needs.
I have been intouch with the welfare rights, who have refered me to someone who works for them to get the ball rolling.
I have also made an appointment with my doctor, for medical reports.
Was just wondering which way some of you people went about things, and weather im going the right way.
Would appreciate some of your comments as a new member.
Thanks in advance.
Regards Steve


Is the purpose of the DWP's upcoming call definitely to say you'll be getting an esa50? I can't recall ever having a phone call to tell me that, it always just arrived in the post. I've only ever had a phone call to arrange an assessment, and that was from Atos rather than the DWP.

I'd suggest posting this on the forum with some more detail about the letter you've received from the DWP. There's a good chance one of the mods will be able to help you.
#37 Steve Lynn 2015-09-10 17:34
Hi all

I have just had a letter from the DWP on september the 6th
Saying that my benefit is changing and that i will be recieving a call from them within two weeks of the letter.
I have been in receipt of income support and ib since leaving school, and am totally dumbfounded by what is going on after becoming a member of this great site.
I havnt had the phone call from the dwp yet to say that im getting an esa50 in the post.
I was crushed by the wheels of a lorry when i was just 13 years old which left me with mobility problems, and need help in my every day needs.
I have been intouch with the welfare rights, who have refered me to someone who works for them to get the ball rolling.
I have also made an appointment with my doctor, for medical reports.
Was just wondering which way some of you people went about things, and weather im going the right way.
Would appreciate some of your comments as a new member.
Thanks in advance.
Regards Steve
+2 #36 tintack 2015-09-08 19:16
Apparently this "radical shake-up" of the system will involve forcing a million people off benefit and "expecting" them to move into work. Surely this innovative approach could be applied to other policy areas? For example, we could slash spending on the NHS by withdrawing medical treatment and "expecting" people to recover. And we certainly don't need to bother with anything as costly as a police force - all we need to do is abolish the police and "expect" people to be honest. Why has no-one thought of this before?
+3 #35 tintack 2015-08-30 02:23
Quote:
Tintack, your last post made me laugh! Your observations are spot on. But really, it's so sad, if the public have this general attitude then I am afraid we are on a hiding to nothing and it really is time to leave this septic isle far behind.
The problem is that for 35 years the lunacy of free market fundamentalism has been rammed down our throats, and Blair's victory ensured there would be no opposition to it even from our supposedly centre-left party. One reason I'd like to see Corbyn as Labour leader is that he would be advocating policies and arguments that haven't been given a voice in this country for decades. I'm under no illusions about Corbyn's chances of success: I expect the Blairites to undermine him from day one and oust him after a year or two. However, at least with Corbyn there is a chance, even if not a very big one, that the public might be jolted out of its complacency by being presented with someone who says that actually, things don't have to be done like this - there IS an alternative. Whereas the other three, as far as I can tell, offer a reheated version of Blair with a progressive label tacked on.

The extent of the problem is demonstrated perfectly by the events since 2008: we had a huge crash caused by a completely broken model of neoliberal economics. That should have been the end of that model, yet it's now reasserted even more dogmatically than before, and the public has fallen for it thanks to the propaganda rags (and, it must be said, Labour's appalling unwillingness to defend itself and its consequent pathetic surrender to an austerity ideology now discredited everywhere except Britain). The Newsnight focus group showed this: they fully believe that a nation's economy functions in the same way as a household budget - which is economically illiterate - so austerity is necessary so we "live within our means". It really is disturbingly easy to fool people.
+3 #34 tintack 2015-08-30 02:07
To answer your question a bit more seriously: it's no great surprise. People tend to believe what they read in the papers (however much they claim not to), and most of our press is owned by a tiny cabal of billionaires who use their papers as propaganda rags to further their own interests rather than report the news. Any politician who threatens their interests therefore has to be traduced and smeared, which is why they'll go overboard on Corbyn. It's the same shrieking hysteria every day, so people fall for it. In many cases their friends and family swallow it too, which just reinforces the delusions.

Whether this means "most of the electorate are a bit dumb", as you say, is hard to know for sure. It certainly shows that many people prefer to not have to think too hard about politics, or much else for that matter. They can just imbibe what the media tells them to believe (and what they should/should not be interested in) instead.

While there has never been a golden age when we had a well-informed population willing to give serious thought to important matters, our culture now appears to be more dumbed down than ever. There used to only be a handful of channels, now there's several hundred, and a great many of them are pumping out vacuous drivel like Jeremy Kyle, Benefits Street, I'm a Nonentity Get Me Out Of Here, the X Factor and dozens of other such crimes against broadcasting day in, day out. I don't actually object to the existence of those "talent" shows, others like them and that's fair enough, but I do object when this stuff is absolutely wall to wall. It's suffocating. It's telling that anything more serious is sneered at as "arty", or, if we're talking about politics, just plain boring. What's the betting that the tabloids will be full of a "scandal" about some X Factor contestant while having little or nothing to say about the thousands driven to early graves after being deemed fit for work? That's what we're up against.
+4 #33 tintack 2015-08-30 01:50
Quoting tazman:
Do you think it's possible that they purposely chose these people in the hope that they would get the result they did? It just seemed to give the impression that most of the electorate are a bit dumb.......


Whether they deliberately chose those specific people I've no idea, but it certainly makes you wonder what the "qualifications " are for being part of a focus group. Presumably the ad said something like: "Are you clueless about politics? Do you base your opinions on superficial impressions while giving no thought whatsoever to the issues involved? Would you like to pontificate on matters you know nothing about while trying to appear serious and well-informed? Well now's your chance!"
+4 #32 Paul Richards 2015-08-29 23:05
Hi tintack,
I did'nt get to see the programme but by what you saw, I am not really at all surprised. The 'electorate' in Britain today is being fed a constant diet of scurrelous lies, both on TV (especially via Channel 5 'Benefits' programmes) and by the scandallous right-wing 'Tory' oriented tabloids. With only Corbyn to fight his own corner and the 3 other labour runners being red/crimson Tories in labour clothes, the horrible Lib Dems now essentially dead and the minor parties with no real chance (mostly due to the disgraceful FPTP system) - the only real opposition is the SNP. It is the closest to a one party totalitarian state that I have ever known in my lifetime. It is very worrying indeed. There is also the running sore still which is IDS/DWP and their lies and unrelenting cruelty towards the poor & the claimants of this Country. As I have said before also, not only are they being fed a poison of lies, but also the vast majority of 'richer' people in Britain are probably the most it's ever been - and thy tend to vote Tory, as do the vast majority of pensioners also who are fully protected from any further cuts. To add insult to injury, I read yesterday that Council Tax Support may be cut even further before long - the poor will be even poorer as they may have to pay even more towards the Council Tax, let alone the bedroom tax also. The rich, the bankers, the tax evasionists are all ok and still laughing all the way to their banks. The Government can do what they want when they want to with effectively no-one to answer to or to stop them. For a so-called democracy - it is a total shambles and it is getting worse and worse.
All that we can hope for now is that something 'big' may soon come up (Blackcat - let's hope that you are right with this!) and stop this in it's tracks. Something better needs to happen - and fast!
+2 #31 tazman 2015-08-29 21:56
Yes Tintack, I saw the friday newsnight and was cringing when those idiotic women made their stupid comments. But then my mother decided she would not vote for Ed Miliband because she didn't like the way he speaks.

Do you think it's possible that they purposely chose these people in the hope that they would get the result they did? It just seemed to give the impression that most of the electorate are a bit dumb.......
+1 #30 summertrain 2015-08-29 12:27
Tintack, your last post made me laugh! Your observations are spot on. But really, it's so sad, if the public have this general attitude then I am afraid we are on a hiding to nothing and it really is time to leave this septic isle far behind.
+6 #29 tintack 2015-08-29 00:01
Did anyone see tonight's (Friday) Newsnight? They had a focus group with ex-Labour voters in Tory seats. I think Labour has an impossible job on its hands.

One woman's considered view of Andy Burnham was that she "couldn't stop looking at his eyebrows". Now I'm not Burnham's biggest fan, but I think there are rather more substantial points to be made.

Another woman said she thought Cameron was doing a good job and would vote Tory unless he "really messed up". We'll have to be generous and assume that thousands of sick people dying within a fortnight of being passed fit for work hasn't registered on her radar, since I'd have thought that was a pretty good example of "really messing up". I think we can also say she's not lost her job or fallen ill and had to rely on benefits recently.

A particularly stellar contribution came from the woman who said that Corbyn "seems as though he wants to get money from the rich" and asked "why should he be allowed to?". Perhaps because the wealthiest are supposed to pay their fair share like everyone else but are currently being allowed to take the piss by not doing so? Just a thought.

And then there was the man who said Corbyn got all his policies from the 1960s (I thought we were constantly being told it was the 80s?) and also opined that he "seems a bit of a hippy". As for the obscene inequality between rich and poor, apparently "it's always been that way". So that's OK then. Fortunately this "logic" wasn't used when ending slavery became an issue. "Awfully sorry old chap, I'd love to give you your freedom, but there have always been slaves, so I can't."

Bearing this in mind, reasoned argument appears futile. These political sages are apparently the people whose votes Labour should be chasing. They'll need to find someone who can speak fluent ignorance.
+3 #28 Paul Richards 2015-08-27 22:54
Hi all,
Please have a look at this one. Dated 15th January 2014, this is 100 different ways (mostly complete with verifiable evidence) that IDS and his policies have cost the UK & it's population millions and millions of pounds and terrible suffering also - not least, to benefit claimants and their families, etc. (& it's got even worse since then!)
I can assure you that it is shocking.

http://www.greenbenchesuk.com/2014/01/the-cost-of-ids-100-ways-iain-duncan.html
+3 #27 JohnnyT 2015-08-27 21:55
ll this departments work has been built on lies and deception and yet the minister is still in charge after being caught out everytime he opens his mouth, there is absolutely no accountability in parliament when a minister can lie so freely to its employers ie the tax payer....

1 death is too many but this guy is working towardswartime death figures with his policies and no one seems to care.
#26 Blackcat 2015-08-27 20:21
Hi
I believe i posted that the election result was good, and I am sure that I will eventually be proved right.

A lot of problems were cleared away at the election.

Something is going to hit the buffers at full speed soon. I cannot name names,or name political individuals or parties. It really will happen.

Just sit and wait,confidence is high. :lol:
+4 #25 micksville 2015-08-27 13:34
I suspect the wrag group members and especially mental health claimants will bear the brunt of this, as sg is hard enough to get into anyway. Cameron stated three years ago that he felt wrag group members ought to be looking for work and effectively become jobseekers anyway. As predicted by a member on here sometime ago the wrag will be phased out and sg become the new incap benefit. I also think membership of sg will eventually be closely aligned with succesfully claiming pip.
+4 #24 tiff 2015-08-27 11:51
I went for a P.I.P update on how my health is now, to how it had been 18 month earlier when they first assessed me . When I sat down the P.I.P. accessor asked me if my health problems were getting better or worse then they were 18 months earlier. I told her I am quite a lot worse then before. I am 63 now and I have payed tax and pension stamps for 46 years, then I had a car accident in 2013 and that the injuries I received meant I could no longer do any type of work @ all. I cant walk up stairs ( i have to crawl up ) get down the stairs on my bum, I need help to get in and out of the bath ( i need 2 baths a day ) I am unable to sit down or get off a toilet without help. I cant lift a pan or a plate with food on. I cant dress the lower half off my body. ect. I now cant walk more then 50 yds on a good day on a bad day I cant walk @ all. I am unable to use public transport I now dont go anywhere I dont know after I have had another car crash in my car 2014 because I didn't know the area I was in and I panicked. I was told by the P.I.P. assessor that to get onto the Enchanced Rate ( I am on the lower rate ) for care you need to have NO LEGS ! also to get onto the Enchanced Rate for mobility you need to be in a WHEEL-CHAIR permanently ( I have just been put on the lower rate )The assessment took 15 minutes from going into the building and then sitting back in my sisters car (who had taken me for the assessment ) in total. I have phoned the P.I.P. people up and I have told them how crude the assessment was and asked them to look into it. I am still waiting to hear back from them.
+3 #23 tintack 2015-08-27 00:28
Quoting naheegan:
Yes, the UK must respond to the UN findings by June next year.
The UN does not have any remit to enforce compliance of any treaty for which the UK is a signatory. The most the UN can do is make a critical and harsh statement about how the UK is not adhering to the principles of the treaty, which would cause international embarrassment to the government. That's not very encouraging to disabled people and I personally doubt that the present government would change tack or reverse any legislation that has led to contravention of the convention on human rights -as specific to the rights of disabled people.


I suspected the U.N. could not enforce the treaty, which does of course raise the question of what use such a treaty can be. That said, it would be embarrassing for the government. Not that individuals like IDS would care of course, but politically it could be awkward for them, especially if we have a Labour leader who is prepared to put the issue high on the political agenda. That's one reason I hope Corbyn wins - I think he would be willing to do so. Burnham might, but not with the required conviction. Cooper oversaw the WCA so she's fatally compromised on this issue, and I can't see a Blairite like Kendall being willing to run with it.
+3 #22 naheegan 2015-08-26 20:48
Quoting tintack:


I think there is a U.N. investigation into the UK's treatment of sick and disabled people taking place at the moment. I'm not sure exactly what its remit is, but if I remember rightly it's due to report some time next year.



Yes, the UK must respond to the UN findings by June next year.
The UN does not have any remit to enforce compliance of any treaty for which the UK is a signatory. The most the UN can do is make a critical and harsh statement about how the UK is not adhering to the principles of the treaty, which would cause international embarrassment to the government. That's not very encouraging to disabled people and I personally doubt that the present government would change tack or reverse any legislation that has led to contravention of the convention on human rights -as specific to the rights of disabled people.
+4 #21 tintack 2015-08-26 18:16
Quoting vision:
More "Moving the goalposts" at which they are experts.
IDS is a nightmare and needs to be stopped.
You cannot believe they are allowed to get away with such atrocities in this country.
The U.N needs to step in and investigate what is going on.


I think there is a U.N. investigation into the UK's treatment of sick and disabled people taking place at the moment. I'm not sure exactly what its remit is, but if I remember rightly it's due to report some time next year.
+3 #20 vision 2015-08-26 13:20
More "Moving the goalposts" at which they are experts.
IDS is a nightmare and needs to be stopped.
You cannot believe they are allowed to get away with such atrocities in this country.
The U.N needs to step in and investigate what is going on.
+3 #19 Paul Richards 2015-08-26 11:52
And another! What an awful state of affairs when it all comes to this.

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/13620988. Suicide guidance given to benefits staff preparing for desperate calls on welfare reform

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