• 25 Sep 2015

    The independent researcher, Stef Benstead, and the beliefs and values think-tank Ekklesia, have today announced the start of a research project aimed at developing an alternative to the failed Work Capability Assessment (WCA).

  • 25 Sep 2015

    Ekklesia is committed to the abolition of the Work Capability Assessment (WCA). We are therefore working with Stef Benstead, an independent researcher who lives personally with the issues she is researching, to help develop a new system designed by disabled people. We invite you to take part in our survey. Trigger Warning: The survey is a standard questionnaire which we hope the majority of people will feel comfortable with. We are aware, however, that for some people, filling in a questionnaire like this will remind them of the distress caused by the WCA. If you feel this may be the case for you but have ideas about the new system, we invite you to send your thoughts via the email address provided.

  • 25 Sep 2015
  • 13 Aug 2015

    Of all welfare reform policies, the benefit cap has resonated most strongly with the public, and gained most support from across the political spectrum. As a headline policy it has been easy to explain and to promote. When politicians asked, 'why should people get more on benefits than others get by working?', people tended to agree. Why should they?

  • 3 Aug 2015

    David Clapson died with no food in his stomach, three weeks after his Jobseekers Allowance was stopped due to a benefit sanction. David, a 59 year old diabetic who had served in the Army and cared for his late mother, was desperately seeking work when he fell foul of the sanctions regime. The DWP said,
    "Sanctions are only used as a last resort for a tiny minority who don’t follow the rules.."

  • 23 Jul 2015

    We are constantly being told that the British public has swallowed the 'scroungers and skivers' rhetoric about benefit claimants, and is broadly in favour of welfare cuts. Any politician who opposes these cuts is widely portrayed as unrealistic and unelectable. But what if that is not true, and the public's attitude is actually far less harsh than the Westminster bubble would have us believe?

  • 13 Jul 2015

    When announcing a huge cut to Employment Support Allowance in his budget speech, George Osborne managed to pack so much that was misleading into only six sentences, it really merits some close analysis.

  • 5 Jul 2015

    In the New Statesman, 25-year-old Rosie Fletcher recently wrote, "Disease isn’t like a gas meter. It has no notion of economics. It doesn’t switch off because you’ve stopped putting money in. This isn’t some kind of elaborate con I’ve been running … Cutting my benefits won't get me back into work. It will make my life smaller, more stressful. It will make me sicker."

  • 8 Feb 2015

    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.

  • 7 Feb 2015

    An MP’s defence of benefit sanctions left many other UK parliamentarians stunned. It also showed how common magical thinking has become among those wanting tougher treatment of people receiving social security.