Government bully-boy Iain Duncan Smith is planning yet another radical change to the benefits system which will specifically target those with serious illnesses – such as cancer – in the Work Related Activity Group.
In an article in the Observer newspaper, Duncan Smith is said to be concerned about the number of claimants in the group who fail to find work within three years. His plan is to scrap the Work Related Activity Group, which is currently made up of around 546,770 people.
The move by Duncan Smith is aimed at reducing welfare costs as millions of pounds are spent on administering the group, including work capability assessments and the appeals process.
The effect of this change will be that people who are unfit for work will be forced to move onto Jobseekers Allowance. They will then be subjected to sanctions as they fail to comply with the requirements of receiving the benefit.
There are already tens of thousands of people in the Work Related Activity Group who are highly unlikely to be able to work, yet have been deemed fit through the farce of the work capability assessments carried out by Atos.
It is common sense that many of those will remain in the work related activity group and remain unable to engage in work related activities or find work within three years – they should not be in the group in the first place. So Duncan Smith has only himself to blame for the current shambles of the benefits system, yet he still chooses to blame those who are experiencing serious illness and frustration at the unreasonable pressure that is placed on them by the government.
Anne Begg MP, the Labour chairwoman of the cross-party work and pensions select committee told the Observer “My concern is that, if he gets rid of the WRAG group and says all these people are fit to work, that will turn them into job support allowance claimants. Then we have all these people who they are wasting money on trying to get into work, who are realistically never going to get into work and whose condition will be made worse.
“I have two constituents who are psychiatric nurses who have just been telling me about the damage done to people who are ill and incapable and forced to attend job centres.”
Stephen Timms, a former Labour welfare reform minister and now shadow minister for employment, also told the Observer that scrapping the WRAG would require “a radical change” to the system on top of a whole series of reforms being pursued by the government.
Duncan Smiths bullying tactics are also causing rifts in his own department. In the Observer, a Whitehall source said that Duncan Smith’s proposals are being opposed by Employment Minister Esther McVey.
Instead of the government addressing the real problem of unemployment by creating a society where there are employment opportunities, they are intent on penalising those who have become too ill to work through unfortunate circumstances.
If the government really were trying to save money on the welfare bill then it becomes apparent that they are totally incompetent as they continue to waste BILLIONS of pounds of taxpayer’s money on inefficient and ridiculously ill thought out projects, such as Universal Credit and the Bedroom Tax, both of which have already incurred astronomical costs which can never be recovered through alleged savings, and which have been highly criticised by the National Audit Office and the Public Accounts Committee.
Again we see Duncan Smith trying to persecute and bully the most vulnerable in our society instead of coming up with real and practical solutions which will HELP those (many of whom are at desperate low points in their lives) who have little choice but to claim benefits.
Claiming benefits when one is incapable of working is not a ‘life-choice’ as the government propaganda would have the public believe. The fact is, many people have been forced into a position they really don’t want to be in.
The changes already made to the benefit system since the current government have been in power have resulted in no savings at all – in fact costs have significantly increased for government, and other organisations who have had to try and provide services in the fall-out. Local government, housing associations, and other service providers have seen their costs soar as they try to deal with ever-increasing rent arrears caused by the bedroom tax.
Charities and other organisations are unable to provide services to the vulnerable and ill because local government funding has been cut to such an extent that local councils can no longer subsidise their work through grants and other initiatives.
Now Duncan Smith and his cronies want to further disenfranchise those who are unable to be money-making slaves for their corporate buddies.
Perhaps the next step for Duncan Smith is to introduce a mandatory ‘euthanasia’ initiative for those who have been claiming benefits because of ill health. He and the government would like nothing more than those claiming benefits to die of their illnesses or commit suicide so they can give extra money to their corporate masters. Sound familiar? We joke not.
This nasty little bully has done nothing to improve the welfare system for anyone, and certainly does not have any kind of real ‘welfare’ in mind as he plans his evil deeds.
We are being fooled into a situation that can only end into disaster for the majority of people. Slowly, slowly, the government are creating a culture of selfishness, greed, and slavery – where a person’s worth will only be judged in monitory terms. We are already part-way there, and the concept of real ‘society’ and humanity get eroded with each step.
The Conservatives slogan ‘for hardworking people’ really means ‘you work – we make money’. The only thing ‘hardworking’ means is becoming a slave to corporations and an immense amount of stress and pressure to ‘produce’ for those who don’t work hard at all. It is a con. If you are unable to ‘produce’ you will be shunned.
Perhaps it won’t matter which ‘political party’ is in power in the future – significant damage has already been done and it will take a new breed of politician who is brave enough to challenge and change the system, and who is strong enough to stop the system changing them.
Source: The Guardian