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People often suspect that the purpose of recent welfare reforms was not to make the system more efficient or more fair, but to make the system so hostile, punitive and humiliating that people would be deterred from claiming. A decision by the DWP has just fuelled this suspicion.
In an interview on LBC radio, Iain Duncan Smith displayed a startling ignorance of the social security benefits he has been administering, and cutting, for the last four years.
Last week a range of NGOs, advocacy groups, disability rights campaigners and others (including the Christian political think-tank Ekklesia) signed an open letter promoted by Rick Burgess (Caledfwlch,
Budget measures announced by UK chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne include a cap on the overall amount spent on a range of social security measures. People who become severely ill or injured, or face other unexpected needs, may find their already low standard of living forced down, regardless of how much they have contributed to society.
The full motion (the "question put and agreed", in parliamentary language) in the WOW petition debate on a cumulative impact assessment welfare reform in the House of Commons on 27 February 2014 is set out in full below.