Work Capability Assessments

Work makes you free?

Issue section: 

"In our new welfare contract our message is simple. Do the right thing and we will back you all the way but fail to take responsibility and the free ride is over" - A New Welfare Contract, the Conservative Party (2010).

Just over 100 days in office and the brutality of the coalition government towards disabled people has been relentless. Much of the Tory welfare reform agenda is "a chronicle of a death foretold" but the speed of implementation and the scale of the proposed reforms have been breathtaking.

Freudian slips

Issue section: 

The desertion of New Labour's welfare reform adviser Sir David Freud to the Tories highlighted how little there is to choose between the main parties' policies.

Freud's real expertise (if you can call it that) was as a banker, organising such notable successes as the flotations of Eurotunnel and Railtrack. And as we now know, failure in banking is no barrier to huge earnings. He could retire in his 50s, turning his attention to drafting up welfare reform proposals.

After a mere three weeks' research he announced that most Incapacity Benefit recipients could work, and that private contractors could get the long-term unemployed back to work - if the price was right. He also favoured making claimants work for their benefits.

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