Benefit ‘reforms’ which are supposed to get more people into paid work have often made life harder for those in, or seeking, jobs, research reveals. They have also undermined independence in other ways and caused suffering and injustice.
People unable to work because of obesity, drug or alcohol problems may have their social security payments cut if they do not undergo treatment, UK prime minister David Cameron has threatened. He has asked Professor Dame Carol Black, an adviser to the Department of Health, to carry out a review.
There is a new kind of poverty in Britain. It is made by politicians, and could easily be ended by politicians. The people enduring this government-enforced poverty are not on low incomes: they have no income whatsoever. They sit in dark cold homes with no money and no food. For them, budgeting and belt-tightening would be the luxury option.
People in the UK unable to work because of depression may have their benefits stopped if they do not undergo cognitive behavioural therapy, which it is assumed will cure them, a newspaper has reported. If this plan goes ahead, sizeable numbers of mentally ill people are likely to die.
The budget announced by UK chancellor George Osborne has been widely reported as appealing to pensioners and savers. Some measures, such as pensioner bonds, will indeed help sizeable numbers of older people. Yet for many people over retirement age, it is will not be good news overall.