Welfare / the new government
The new government will be having a complete rethink on welfare.
So far it isn’t looking good. Welfare is to be targetted. Apparently unlike banks and MPs – Welfare is living above its means.
David Cameron has warned of “pain” ahead as the government makes cuts to tackle the country’s debt. Full story here.
The prime minister told the Sunday Times that “massive welfare bills”, public sector pay and “the bureaucracy that has built up over the past decade” needed to be addressed.
“Otherwise you will have to make reductions across the board which you don’t want to do. We need to address the areas where we have been living beyond our means,” he said.
Here is what the coalition have proposed on welfare. Nothing about the very sick.
However things are beginning to get clearer.
Iain Duncan Smith has laid out his stall on welfare reform
And his own beliefs in an interview
Watch the video of IDS Nothing about seriously ill people, people with terminal illness, people with schizophrenia. Apparently work is the ONLY route out of poverty and they can all do some form of work. IDS is Messianic about the broken society. Unfortunately serious illness strikes randomly and is nothing to do with society – broken or otherwise. It just hits people and these people need respect and care.
CarerWatch are pleased to see that Steve Webb is a LibDem Minister at DWP. The LibDems have always supported CarerWatch in our campaigns on welfare reform.
We can see that IDS is determined to tackle the cycle of deprivation on council estates and mildly sick people parked on sick benefits. We have no comment to make on these policies.
We look after people with serious and enduring illness (easily identified by serious diagnosis by the NHS) and they are not the target for the IDS program. But this group have been caught up in the welfare reforms and are feeling very anxious and need at least one word of government reassurance.
The last government absolutly refused to speak out and reassure them and has caused a lot of fear. Mr Cameron has at least said he will look after the most frail and vulnerable – but they do need to hear it said for benefits.
It isn’t fair, humane, wise, or cost effective to put pressure on the seriously and enduringly ill such as people with schizophrenia. For seriously ill people we say YES to carrots and help and NO to sanctions and pressure.
It isn’t going to help IDS with his program if the CAB continue to highlight the tragic cases of very sick people being caught up in this or programmes go out like the one on Scottish TV last night. Just passport the seriously sick to the ‘support’ group – Professor Gregg says all the back to work help is available there free of sanctions and that is where the original design intended them to be.