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Iain Duncan Smith told MPs this week that the Tories will “ensure that those who cannot manage and have disabilities are treated with the utmost kindness” . However, he refused to rule out cutting employment and support allowance (ESA) or personal independence payment (PIP) for those not considered to be the ‘most vulnerable’ disabled claimants

IDS was asked directly by Madeleine Moon MP to rule out cuts to ESA, PIP and AA. He failed to do so, saying instead:

“I am currently reviewing all policy on welfare. The outcome will be announced when the work is complete, but as the Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, my hon. Friend the Member for North Swindon (Justin Tomlinson), said, it is our intention to protect the most vulnerable, including the disabled.

“I believe our reforms demonstrate our strong record of supporting disabled people. We introduced the personal independence payment to ensure more support is going to those who need it.”

IDS went on to say that

“Our purpose is to protect the most vulnerable. It has been from the beginning, and it will continue to be. There is, therefore, no reason for people to be fearful . . .”

“We felt that much of the huge increase in welfare spending under the Labour Government—an increase of some 60%—went to the wrong people who were not doing the right thing.

“That is the key point. Our purpose is to reform welfare in order to get people back to work, and to ensure that those who cannot manage and have disabilities are treated with the utmost kindness and given the utmost support.”

There is no definition of who ‘the most vulnerable’ are, but it is a phrase that has been used repeatedly in the election campaign and since.

A clue, perhaps, was in the answers IDS gave to another MP, Kate Green:

“Under PIP, 20% of claimants receive both the higher rates, as opposed to 16% under DLA. Our reforms are about helping those in the greatest need.”

And’ yet again moments later:

“Let me give the hon. Lady a simple pledge: we will protect the most vulnerable.”

The Conservatives have been extremely successful in promoting the idea that claimants are divided into a small number of ‘genuinely’ sick and disabled people and a much larger proportion of ‘shirkers’.

Now, we suspect , IDS wants to persuade the general public that, amongst the ‘genuinely’ disabled, there is only a small proportion who are ‘most vulnerable’ and ‘cannot manage’ and a much larger group who don’t really need state help at all.


#5 Lesley 2015-07-26 20:51
My sister had a car accident 35 years ago. She technically 'died' but recovered but was brain damaged as a result. She had been receiving 'life time' invalidity benefit which then became some other payment. (ESA?) She has just been assessed for PIP But told she does not qualify. She said the interview was the most appalling experience of her life, it wrecked what little self worth she was clinging to. We will be appealing. With out a doubt she is one of societies most vulnerable but the treatment she received was the exact opposite of caring.
#4 Chris29 2015-07-05 08:13
You got it in one, basically what I can see happening is a modest increase for those kept on the benefit so they can claim they are getting more help, but a large portion of people cutoff to bring the overall budget down and claims will be made the people cutoff were never too ill to work to begin with.
+8 #3 b s 2015-06-25 08:11
''it is our intention to protect the most vulnerable, including the disabled''.
Absolute lying hypocrite as the independent living fund which supports
18,000 of the most severely disabled is about to be shut down along
with his squirming to disclose the scale of his welfare reform related deaths.The man if that's what you can call him along with Tomlinson
are utterly vile.
+8 #2 carruthers 2015-06-24 22:18
Ah yes, "kindness". Is this "kindness" as in "tough love."?

"We love you very much. Now get off your backside and into a wheelchair and start looking for jobs at a building site. If you can watch TV, you can work."

Or is that "kindness" as in my favourite post in a Daily Mail forum?

"I am very sorry for your disability but I don't want to give you any of my money."

Full of the milk of human kindness our Mr Smith.
+9 #1 stuart52 2015-06-24 16:05
IDS...utmost kindness! :D , thing is how do you define most vunrable? this oaf of a man doesnt know the meaning of the word kindness, he and his party have made so many peoples lives a misery over the years, no doubt the same utmost kindness and utmost support was offered to all those that were terminally ill and found fit for work, not to mention those that for one reason or another died and those yet to come,as he answered the questions you could really see his nose growing!

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