Login FormClose

Free ESA, PIP and DLA Updates

With over 140,000 subscribers our fortnightly updates bulletin is the UK's leading source of benefits news. Get the facts about what's changing, how it affects you and how to prepare.   Get your free benefits updates now.

Professional Members

We support both claimants and professionals.  These are just some of the organisations who have subscribed to Benefits and Work:

  • Royal College of Nursing
  • Spinal Injuries Association
  • Chesterfield Law Centre
  • Coventry Mind
  • Birmingham Citizens Advice Bureau
  • Colchester Borough Council Welfare Rights

Read more

IDS launches new attack on ESA claimants

Iain Duncan Smith has told the Daily Mail that he is to launch a new policy document in the next few weeks to end the ‘perverse incentive’ given to employment and support allowance claimants not to work.

Under the alleged proposals, ESA claimants in the work-related activity group will be found work for around ten hours a week, or whatever they can manage, with the possibility of having their ESA cut if they refuse.

According to the Mail, IDS is keen to target claimants with mental health conditions. He told the paper that at present ESA is too ‘binary’.

“It is a system that decides that you are either capable of work or you are not.

“Two absolutes equating to one perverse incentive – a person has to be incapable of all work or available for all work.

“In the world beyond ESA, things are rarely that simplistic. Someone may be able to do some work for some hours, days or weeks, but not what they were doing previously.”

There was no mention of the fact that ESA claimants can already undertake permitted work for a limited number of hours whilst claiming ESA. Nor was there any explanation of how the growing prejudice against sick and disabled claimants fostered by the DWP and successive governments is to be overcome in order to persuade employers to offer claimants work.

Comments  

+2 #11 TraceZee 2016-01-27 16:04
The WRAG are people who are deemed able to do "something". A little, a few hours either regularly or when their condition allows. It should also be those who are nearing recovery. Neither of these groups would be capable of work to a level that they can support themselves financially. More often than not, any "work" would more than likely be voluntary. I doubt very much that there are work opportunities for a couple of hours a week that are paid so by losing £30 a week it would make even attending any voluntary placement impossible as people would have to choose between attending that or paying bills.
I'd also be interested to know how many employers would be happy to make "reasonable adjustment" for the benefit of someone who can't guarantee they'd be able to make every session. They don't want to employ disabled people who can cope with work, why would they bother with those who can't?
If he thinks any part of being ill or disabled is enjoyable or fulfilling he's a bigger idiot than I thought. Isolation, loss of independence and of dignity on top of the physical and mental strain of constantly fighting for treatment that you dream will make things "better"... yeah, everyone's dream of an easy life, I'm sure (said with sarcasm). All ready whats left of the mental health care system is run off its feet, loss of adult services with little support for those with a learning disability who'd love to work but have no opportunities. The system is a mess and will only get worse under his watch.
+2 #10 shell 2016-01-25 11:09
this has been on the boards since last year and was easy to guess if and when this would happen i.e tax credit failed so he had to go else where and of cause this was us yet again maybe in about 10yrs time they will be no disabled people in this country according to the gov where are the lords now and the charities and the mp,s screaming at the tops of they voices about the effect this is going to have on us but then again when u have a tv channel fighting the govs corning for them i.e fat and on benefits is an example well we are yet again in for the chop
+3 #9 tintack 2016-01-24 00:30
Quoting Gawayn:
So what exactly is all this talk about "perverse incentives" not to work (which of course as pointed out above you can already do as part of the "permitted work" option?).


Under IB if you started work but then found that your health wasn't up to it you could go back on IB as before, as long as it was within a certain time limit (12 months I think). So it was worth trying to work if you could, because the fall-back option was there in case it didn't work out. That was removed for ESA, so who is really responsible for the "perverse incentive" not to take the risk of working?

Quote:
Similarly how exactly will cutting ESA WRAG by £30 "incentivise" claimants to miraculously recover from their medical conditions and find work?
Ah, now the key here is to remember that "incentivise" is a very flexible word. When referring to those at the top, it means "giving them a shedload more cash", whereas for those at the bottom it means "taking what little they currently have". So rich people are "incentivised" to work by throwing more money at them, whereas the poor and sick are "incentivised" to work by taking money away from them.

Quote:
Furthermore, why is IDS singling out mental health claimants in particular? I thought David Cameron et al wanted to end the stigma about mental health, and have it treated every bit as seriously as physical health? Does IDS somehow magically "know" that those with chronic depression and anxiety etc are really ready for work even though the medical professionals and a draconian test have shown they are not? Or does he simply think mental health conditions are not real, and claimants are putting them on?
IDS is probably stupid enough to believe it, and even if he doesn't, the right wing press has encouraged the public to believe it, so he's playing to the gallery.
+2 #8 Gawayn 2016-01-23 18:20
So much cruel, ideological, non-factual ignorance from IDS and his cronies on this I don't know where to start. :(

To get ESA WRAG in the first place you first need to be signed off by a Doctor as incapable of work, and then undergo an absurdly stringent WCA to show the same. The WCA, remember, effectively states (amongst many other bizarre examples) that if you can sit down and watch Eastenders for half an hour a day then that's evidence that you're mentally capable to handle full-time work. If you say at your WCA that you can work c. 10 hours a week, you - almost certainly - will simply not get awarded WRAG in the first place! You may call that too "binary" if you wish, but the fact is if you're in the WRAG group then in all likelihood you simply are not capable of any work (unless of course your condition improves). So what exactly is all this talk about "perverse incentives" not to work (which of course as pointed out above you can already do as part of the "permitted work" option?). Similarly how exactly will cutting ESA WRAG by £30 "incentivise" claimants to miraculously recover from their medical conditions and find work?

Furthermore, why is IDS singling out mental health claimants in particular? I thought David Cameron et al wanted to end the stigma about mental health, and have it treated every bit as seriously as physical health? Does IDS somehow magically "know" that those with chronic depression and anxiety etc are really ready for work even though the medical professionals and a draconian test have shown they are not? Or does he simply think mental health conditions are not real, and claimants are putting them on?
+4 #7 angela 2016-01-23 08:57
I bet this guy just loves getting up in the morning and thinking what evil can i get upto to day best of it is there is no one to stop him doing it
+3 #6 tintack 2016-01-22 01:59
It certainly does seem as though those in the WRAG and people claiming on mental health grounds are in the firing line. IDS seems to view them as the easiest targets.

As for this:

Quote:
“Two absolutes equating to one perverse incentive – a person has to be incapable of all work or available for all work.

“In the world beyond ESA, things are rarely that simplistic. Someone may be able to do some work for some hours, days or weeks, but not what they were doing previously.”
This shows the importance of context. Taken in isolation this statement may not sound so unreasonable. The problem is that it's coming from IDS, so we can be sure that it will actually mean something very different in practice. But of course the public will never hear about that: they'll read the statement, think "that sounds fair enough", and never be told abut the poor sods who will doubtless be hounded into doing work their health can't take (or sanctioned for not finding such work). As always, the spin and the reality will be worlds apart.
#5 papasmurf 2016-01-21 12:26
Quoting Eli48:
Quote:
TonyR IDS announced his proposals in a speech last year in August It is NOT a new story:-


http://www.reform.uk/publication/rt-hon-iain-duncan-smith-mp-speech-on-work-health-and-disability/


Just as well you do not get to decide on what news is posted.
I have no idea what you comment is about. I am merely pointing out the Daily Mail was printing old news.
+2 #4 Eli48 2016-01-21 12:03
Quote:
TonyR IDS announced his proposals in a speech last year in August It is NOT a new story:-


http://www.reform.uk/publication/rt-hon-iain-duncan-smith-mp-speech-on-work-health-and-disability/
Just as well you do not get to decide on what news is posted.
-2 #3 papasmurf 2016-01-20 17:26
TonyR IDS announced his proposals in a speech last year in August It is NOT a new story:-


http://www.reform.uk/publication/rt-hon-iain-duncan-smith-mp-speech-on-work-health-and-disability/
+2 #2 TonyR 2016-01-20 14:21
If you can scratch your ar** for half an hour a week, then you could be scratching someone else.
By that measure, It's clear you ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR ESA.
Who buy's the Daily Mail anyway?.
+4 #1 GoingOffMyHeadWithThisGoverment 2016-01-20 12:44
IDS don't you just love this pompous fool. As Oliver would say More, More please sir. :oops:

Makes my blood boil.

You need to be logged in to comment