New book reveals how disastrous welfare policies were developed

By Bernadette Meaden
September 1, 2016

How did Britain reach the point where thousands of seriously ill people died shortly after being declared ‘fit for work’?

How did we get to the point where a diabetic man, repeatedly sanctioned and thus unable to eat properly or to manage his condition, had to have his leg amputated? How could MPs seriously believe that slashing the already meagre incomes of people whom the government itself finds unfit to work, will ‘incentivise’ them into getting a job? How could all this happen in the name of reform? A book published this month explains in great detail the highly dubious ‘evidence’, the bogus assumptions, and especially the shadowy corporate influences which have helped to produce what has been described as a social policy disaster.

Cash not Care: the planned demolition of the UK welfare state, forensically tracks the development of UK social security policy in relation to sick and disabled people over several decades, under both Labour and Conservative governments. It reveals a common thread which runs throughout the years - the highly influential role of the private insurance industry, with calamitous results for disabled people.   

The book, written by disabled researcher Mo Stewart, has already received ringing endorsements from a host of academics, disabled people’s organisations, and professionals in the area of social policy.

Sir Bert Massie, Chair of the Disability Rights Commission from 2000 – 2007 says, “Stewart names names. She shows where and how the policies originated. She destroys all claims that they were based on solid research... To understand what is happening and why, this is the book to read and I thank Mo Stewart for writing it.”

Independent researcher Catherine Hale says, “When the history of the persecution of disabled people in the name of welfare reform in Britain finally gets written for mainstream audiences, Mo Stewart’s evidence will form the starting point. Read it here first.”

Dr Simon Duffy, of the Centre for Welfare Reform, says, “I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who wants to look beyond Government rhetoric and understand what’s really going on.”

There may be many people who have supported welfare reforms affecting disabled people in good faith, for various reasons. I would challenge any of them to read this book, learn the facts, and maintain that support.

Cash Not Care: the planned demolition of the UK welfare state, will be available from Amazon as a hardback, a paperback, and an e-book,  via this link  It should also be available from Waterstone's and other good book shops.

------------

 © Bernadette Meaden has written about political, religious and social issues for some years, and is strongly influenced by Christian Socialism, liberation theology and the Catholic Worker movement. She is an Ekklesia associate and regular contributor. You can follow her on Twitter: @BernaMeaden

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.