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  • Writer's picturePhilip J Connolly

Journalists here is your chance to balance the neo nasty stories maligning disabled people

Nasty welfare cuts leave disabled people asking what are the Prime Minister's actual values? Changes are being proposed to the criteria within the Work Capability Assessment, the main test for health related out of work benefit. The DWP are asking whether the Mobilising, Continence, Social Engagement, Getting About and Substantial Risk to Self or Others functional activities and descriptors can be removed or amended, or whether the points for the Limited Capability for Work descriptors can be reduced.  All these changes would mean a loss of entitlement to social security, meaning cuts in benefit of £90 per week for those on Universal Credit and £44.70 for ESA claimants. This at a time when there is a cost of living crisis. See https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/work-capability-assessment-activities-and-descriptors These cuts in entitlement are premised upon more disabled people being able to work from home and the effectiveness of Job Centre work coaches. However the evidence of the Disability@Work team of academics suggests that disabled people have not benefited overall from home working. In addition there is no data or evidence for directly tying improved support to more disabled people being in work. This is because proportionately fewer disabled workers are in jobs were homeworking is an option. See Disabled-people-and-working-from-home-Disability@Work-briefing-paper-002.pdf (disabilityatwork.co.uk) Philip Connolly, founder of the Disability Resilience Network (DRN), said, "These cuts in entitlement may be set to be announced possibly as early as the autumn spending statement on Wednesday November 22nd 2023. If the Prime Minister and Chancellor agree this nasty policy they will taint their parties values at a time when people are deciding who to vote for. Think again. Prime Minister please can you start by choosing to meet with the DRN?"

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