Disability campaigners concerned over benefit shakeups
- 24 Aug
Disability campaigners fear they are being targeted by the government’s radical reforms to push more people into work.
The Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith is set to announce new reforms to sickness benefits in the hope to get more people into work, reports the Guardian.
It is expected the Mr Duncan Smith will claim that over 2 million more people are in work and that the number of workless households is at a record low following previous government reforms. “There is one area on which I believe we haven’t focused on enough – how work is good for your health. Work can help keep people healthy as well as help promote recovery if someone falls ill. So, it is right that we look at how the system supports people who are sick and helps them into work. But we must not stop there. We need to be relentless in our efforts to get more people into work and off welfare. The number of disabled people working has risen by 350,000 over the past two years, the highest on record. Yet, even though we have got more disabled people into work, that is only the beginning,” he is expected to say.
A DWP spokesman declined to discuss the figures in Duncan Smith’s speech or release further details. A spokesman said: “This isn’t a policy announcement; it’s the start of a conversation.”
Disability campaigners are concerned that this effort so shrink the “disability employment gap” is targeting people who have disabilities. They want the government to do more to normalise perceptions of people with disabilities at work rather than treating the situation as “a problem that needs to be explained away to employers”.
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