The Spartacus Network has produced a new report, Smokescreen, in response to the Government's Work, Health and Disability Green Paper
The Green Paper was produced following pressure from Conservative MPs who felt they had been duped into voting to cut the benefit of people too sick to work (those in the ESA support group) down to the same level as Job Seekers Allowance. The government promised numerous plans to mitigate these cuts. However, says Spartacus, there remains a real risk of losses, as all the Green Paper offers is promises of further Work Programmes and the co-opting of charities and community groups to provide what the report describes as ‘pound-shop therapy’.
Spartacus is particularly critical of the emphasis throughout the Green Paper on work as a route to recovery, and of proposed medical interventions which would be instigated not by the clamant's GP, but by a Job Centre Employment Advisor
Caroline Richardson, one of the authors of the Spartacus report Smokescreen,described the Green Paper as a “complex document designed to convince the many that the cuts are irrelevant, as the solution to all socio-economic and medical barriers is work. Its reliance on projects not yet tested, and its policy based evidence gathering are suggestive of yet another failure in the making.”
* Read the Spartacus report Smokescreen here
* Ekklesia's consultation on cutting ESA can be found here