Chronically sick people don’t matter to the Conservative party

I'm exhausted. I'm exhausted by six years of chronic illness and seven years of Tory rule. It seems like every time I go on Twitter - and most days I don't go on at all - there are multiple new items of the harm this political party is causing to my friends. I don't feel … Continue reading Chronically sick people don’t matter to the Conservative party

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Governments have no right to be ignorant

The government still doesn’t know what its talking about. But this time it’s almost seven years on from when it gained power, and its politicians no longer have the right to plead ignorance. They do not have the right to remain ignorant on matters of great importance over which they hold the power. A spokesperson … Continue reading Governments have no right to be ignorant

The government’s rationale for PIP shows it doesn’t understand disability

On Thursday the government released its response to the consultation on Personal Independence Payments (PIP), the successor to Disability Living Allowance (DLA) that is to be brought in from April 2013.  Amongst the surprises were the government’s limitation of higher rate (‘enhanced’) mobility to people who cannot move more than 20m – a shock to … Continue reading The government’s rationale for PIP shows it doesn’t understand disability

How successful is the Work Programme?

Compared to previous programmes, the Work Programme is not helping more people into work or keeping them in work longer. As we move into more favourable economic conditions the WP should improve, but comparisons to previous programmes (that operated under unfavourable conditions) would then become invalid. Improvements that reflect the economic environment would not be … Continue reading How successful is the Work Programme?

Atos to leave WCA contract early

On Thursday the DWP announced that Atos is withdrawing from its contract to run Work Capability Assessments, the controversial assessment for people too sick or disabled to work. Interestingly the DWP both claim that they sacked Atos (“We removed them. It’s not them walking away”) and that Atos paid them for leaving. Which to me … Continue reading Atos to leave WCA contract early

Benefit Fraud Hotline

Today the government launched its most recent benefit fraud campaign. They’ve had these before and it’s unclear what effect they had. Did they result in more calls to the benefit fraud hotline? Does more calls mean more detection of fraud, or more unnecessary fraud investigations? Fraud is a crime, let’s not forget that. Like tax … Continue reading Benefit Fraud Hotline

Government vs Reality – the big society

Dear government, Let’s stop talking about what you think happens in theory and start talking about what is happening in reality. In reality, people are being told they can’t claim JSA after you have told them they can’t claim ESA. In reality, other countries are looking at your handling of social security and using it … Continue reading Government vs Reality – the big society

Evidence-based review of the WCA

The government has been carrying out a study of suitable descriptors to use for assessments for ESA. The results were supposed to be released in spring of this year, then summer, and then finally were released earlier this month. The superficial results suggest that the current descriptors are better than the alternative descriptors tested in … Continue reading Evidence-based review of the WCA

Ministers don’t get it. Policy should be based on reality, not on misinformation

Ah Bah.   I am sick of hearing about what politicians think, or about what they think the public thinks, or about what the public thinks. I’m not interested in what people think. I’m interested in what they know and what evidence that knowledge is based on. I don’t want a minister who thinks it … Continue reading Ministers don’t get it. Policy should be based on reality, not on misinformation