It’s not what disabled people can’t do, it is what they can has been the mantra of the Conservatives ever since 2010 along another highly superficial mantra of the best route out of poverty is to work.
Yesterday they announced they are piloting both of these together in a number of local authority areas for those with (a) learning difficulties, (b) autism and (c) severe mental health conditions. This will soon become the forced work policy of work for your disability benefit!
The announcement was buried in the DWP Touchbase magazine which can be seen here and I reproduce below what it said
As part of the Personal Support Package for people with disabilities or health conditions, DWP will work closely with a number of local authorities to deliver local supported employment for those with:
- learning difficulties
- severe mental health conditions
The following local authorities have been selected to work with DWP:
- Brighton and Hove City Council
- Cheshire West and Chester Council
- City of York Council
- Croydon Council
- Hertfordshire County Council
- Kent County Council
- Shropshire Council
- Stockport Council
- Telford and Wrekin Council
The proof of concept will commence later in the year for approximately 18 months.
The concept the DWP is seeking to prove is that those with learning difficulties, autism and severe mental health conditions (my emphasis) can work if they receive support, which then leads to the political posit that they should work and further to the political posit that if they do not work then all such disabled persons including those with SEVERE mental health conditions are malingerers.
And you thought cutting the £29.05 per week from those who are incapacitated and on ESA was bad!! You thought the work capability assessments were bad when so many have died within weeks even days of being found ‘fit for work!’
I have seen many pilot studies before and they consist of huge amounts of money being thrown at a small group of areas in order to produce very misleading and Panglossian final reports to say these pilots prove something works. Note that the local councils in this case have also competed to take part in such a charade and of course when, not if, this is then rolled out as national policy such levels of funding and the support it pays for disappears into a black hole! Yet politicians then recite the mantra to any challenge to the policy that it does not work and these pilot studies PROVE that it works.
This is a significant ramping up of the Tories ideological premise that disabled people cost too much and are swinging the lead and especially so with any form of mental health condition unlike ‘seen’ physical disabilities for instance. This goes way beyond the offensive notion that the discredited work capability assessments (WCA) are somehow fair and right and quite how anyone with SEVERE mental health conditions could ever be fit for work simply beggars belief.
This is extremely offensive and a political sham that reveals the Tories as the nastiest of nasty parties.