The UK government’s harsh treatment of sick and disabled people claiming welfare benefits has largely been backed by the media, with some exceptions. This has helped fuel increasing hostility to disabled people from the public. But, unusually, in late July, two prime-time television documentaries exposed the bizarre tests used to falsely find people ‘fit for work’, and the human cost to claimants and their families.
Attacks on benefits and services are nothing new, but the situation has now become a crisis, as the latest vote in the House of Lords (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/15900) illustrates. But now is not the time to give up.
The ‘get tough’ approach to sick and disabled welfare claimants promoted by the big party players in the run up to this General Election, and in recent media rhetoric, is not just morally cheap, says Savi Hensman. It is reflective of a profoundly inadequate policy approach which ends up scapegoating those we should be supporting most.
Far-reaching proposals to force the long-term unemployed to work for their benefits were condemned yesterday by a church agency. Church Action on Poverty expressed concern that new welfare reforms would increase exclusion