Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Disability benefits and the government

Via Mind and The F-Word, the Conservatives seem to be agreeing with Labour's plans to move people from disability benefits to unemployment benefits.

The whole thing is based on the belief that there is a significant proportion of people claiming disability benefits who don't need them, and that the good to society of removing these claims (in tax income that can be spent elsewhere) will exceed the harm to society (in additional tax income that needs to be spent on the new stricter assessments1, and more importantly in personal stress to the majority of genuine claimants, who will either have to jump through an additional set of hoops, or who will lose benefits they need). I don't think either part of that is true. Neither is it true - certainly not at the moment, but not really even when the economy was doing better - that there are jobs available for these people to take anyway.

Amy's F-Word post goes into a lot of detail on the issue, including the issue of "invisible" disabilities - the sort which stricter assessment is most likely to wrongly disbelieve.

There's a petition to the government on this.

1 More on this bit later, after I've had time for research.