Iain Duncan Smith’s fatal flaw

Reposted from Ilegal

To supply thousands of incapacity benefit
claimants with a hopeless CV….

Mr Shameless

Experience: 10 years on the sick. Handling giros, drinking lager, smoking, having children, avoiding all aspects of physical work, applying for local authority mansions and keeping pitbull terriers.  Working on the side, feigning illness & fooling fully qualified doctors.  Am a very proficient sofa tester. 

References: The Secretary of State for Work & Pensions & the Right Wing Tabloids 

What damage does all this propaganda do in terms of
persuading employers to work with
the sick & disabled?

IDS’s war of propaganda against the sick and disabled has caused immense damage….

The vile headlines have effectively black marked the CV of every single sick & disabled benefit claimant before they’ve so much as written one out….

IDS attempts to distance himself from wild media articles which all too often appear in the right wing media and on television programmes such as ‘Benefits Street’, but it’s all too obvious from his many speeches like this one in December 2010 that the propaganda must surely emanate from either him or his ministerial colleagues.

Smith acknowledges the complexity of reforming the welfare state but then applies crude propaganda as a way of gaining popularity with the public.  He continually deceives everyone by a clever and selective use of the statistics which will win the public over in his war against the sick and disabled.  Smith maintains for instance that 2.6 million people are on Incapacity Benefit for temporary conditions, then he tells us how 1.6 million of them have been on it for 5 or more years.  The Daily Express uses startling statistics to show us that of 2.6 million people on incapacity benefit, a total of 1.9 million could work.  Smith has his mugshot all over a highly misleading piece in the Daily Telegraph telling all and sundry how“Nearly 900,000 people who were on incapacity benefit dropped their claim to the payments rather than undergo a tough medical test, latest government figures show” 

Except it was yet another lie, one which we pointed out on this site at the time and one which was subject to a correction after Sheila Gilmore MP wrote to the Telegraph in an effort to get them to quote the correct figure of 19,700 rather than 900,000!  –  The Telegraph then printed the tiniest of corrections to Sheila Gilmore’s rebuttal over the misleading statement which Smith subsequently blamed on his head office:

Never mind the damaging 900,000 headline!

Sheila Gilmore’s rebuttal:

“19,700 makes a far weaker headline than 900,000. Grant Shapps, the Conservative Party chairman was quoted as accusing Labour of using Incapacity Benefit to ‘hide the unemployed’. This leaves out of account the fact that numbers soared under Thatcher, and Labour introduced ESA in an effort to get people back to work.”

Back to the facts

Smith may care to note that the figure for those on long term IB claims was 1,594,83 in November 2010.  As of February 2014 the latest DWP figures show that the long term claimant count still remains high at 1,466,290 (despite over 1 million assessments of older incapacity claims) with a number of unaccounted for assessments in this set.  It would be interesting to see how many claimants have taken up claims to other benefits such as Income Support on the grounds of caring, Pension Credit claims, or who have simply got lost in the black hole associated with IB/ESA conversions. 

What is for sure, is that labelling people as scroungers and fiddling statistics (which later transpired to show 8 to 9 in people out of every 10 claimants having a long term sick claim went straight from the older incapacity benefits on to Employment & Support Allowance) does not help claimants in moving any nearer in to work.

Instead of looking at the evidence, Smith just carries on pumping out the vile rhetoric.  All of which is hardly likely to encourage any employer in giving an incapacitated claimant a chance when it comes to considering them for a job!

For all of Smith’s talk of getting people in to work via his ‘flagship’ schemes, he’d do well to take a reality check and analyse the simply dreadful results achieved for the long term sick via his beloved Work Programme.  

The latest DWP Work Programme figures to March 2014 show that just 980 people ended up with a job outcome.

It’s an utter disgrace and yet do we see any media drawing attention to the shortcomings of the Work Programme?

These dreadful figures follow testing 1,230,700 long term sick claimants for transfer from older Incapacity Benefits on to Employment & Support Allowance, out of which 469,200 ended up in the Work Related Activity Group (up to September 2013).  The Work Programme figures confirm that of the 469,200 only 47,710 were attached to the programme by March 2014; not one single claimant from these figures held down a job for as long as 6 months. 

The cost is beyond belief! 

There is an estimated all in cost close to nearly £900 million pounds on the incapacity benefit to Employment & Support Allowance programme (according to the Major Projects Authority) which must surely make this pathetic handful of jobs the most expensive in the world?

1.2 Million assessments = 980 Job outcomes

Now I know who I’d call
‘shameless’ on his CV!

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1 Response to Iain Duncan Smith’s fatal flaw

  1. Pingback: Shared from WordPress | stewilko's Blog

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