Nick Dilworth is a welfare rights adviser who has seen the full impact of welfare reform on the lives of his clients. He is also skilled at analysing statistics issued by the Department for Work and Pensions, and believes that one number, which lies buried in the data tables, should be revealed and widely publicised.
When I was young, my father often used to repeat a saying his mother had told him, “To whom much is given, of them much is expected.” It was long time before I realised that this early version of “check out your privilege” was in fact quoting Jesus in the Bible (Luke 12:48), but I have never forgotten it, and I always try to live by it.
People campaigning for the abolition of the Work Capability Assessment have often quoted figures from the Department for Work and Pensions which state that between January 2011 and November 2011, 10,600 sick and disabled people died within six weeks of their benefit claim ending.
Successive UK governments have made it harder for people in need to get social security, at a devastating human cost. Public services have also been cut, supposedly to save money. Might this have ended up costing taxpayers more?
This new report Beyond the Barriers: Employment Support Allowance, the Work Programme and recommendations for a new system of support, released by the Spartacus Network and co-published by Ekklesia and the Centre for Welfare Reform today, demonstrates that the policy status quo presents an unforgiving environment for thousands of disabled people across the UK, says its stinging conclusion.