19 September 2006
Last month we revealed how Capita Resourcing were offering advice to claimants which, if followed, could have seen disabled people facing prosecution for fraud.
The advice related to how claimants might deal with the problem of being paid £189 per day for serving on the government's Equality 2025 Network which aims to help the government achieve equality for disabled people by 2025. Such payments will generally have a disastrous effect on incapacity related benefits, leaving claimants effectively excluded from Equality 2025 - as from so many other public bodies. Solutions offered to enquirers by Capita Resourcing, who are recruiting on behalf of the Office for Disability Issues (ODI), included the criminally daft ploy of getting the money paid to someone else instead.
Benefits and Work brought the matter to the attention of Noel Needham at the ODI, who have told us that:
"Ministers are aware of the potential effect on means tested benefits of taking up a remunerated public appointment and are actively seeking to resolve this problem."
What precise steps minister are taking remains undisclosed, but Mr Needham did also assure us that he would be "discussing with Capita the nature of their response". There goes someone's huge bonus this month.