“He also wants the system for deciding who is eligible for ESA tightened up.
Since he took on responsibility for overhauling the welfare state in 2010, Mr Duncan Smith has seen the number of people on Jobseekers’ Allowance fall by almost 700,000, nearly halving the 2010 figure, but the numbers on ESA have stayed stubbornly high at more than 2.5 million, a fall of about 90,000.”
Andy McSmith in The Independent, 23rd August, 2015
You know, it’s almost like – and stick with me, cause this is really out there – the percentage of the population who are too sick to work exists independent of the government’s desire to make them work. Almost like the amount that it has fallen could be attributed to the persecution of the disabled and not, in fact, to some miraculous ability to heal the sick.
The stupid thing is this: as discussed way down at the bottom of the article, a version of this endeavor would be welcomed by most disabled people. Just not one like this. Because, in order to reap the economic rewards of removing the exclusion of disabled people from the workplace and larger society, we first need to spend quite a bit of money on overhauling training, access, contracts, etc. It would probably be a net saving, in the end, but if they’re just going all austerity, all the time, and doing this as a cost cutting exercise, then it will not do anything other than make people sicker and cost more. Any savings made by shunting people off ESA will pretty quickly be eliminated by the higher healthcare and social care costs of people who are pushed into situations and routines which actively damage their health and increase social isolation.
A system actually aimed at supporting people to live the most fulfilling lives they can would be best, economically and socially, but any glimmers of that ideal disappeared from the monstrosity that is the DWP long ago. Of course, saving money shouldn’t be the primary aim – that should be ensuring access, justice and wellbeing for the citizens of your country – but human beings have never really counted for much in the eyes of the DWP, so that argument will never work.
Really, what many disabled people believe IDS is saying here is this: ‘you are not dying fast enough. We’re starving you, humiliating you, debasing you, blaming you for everything that’s gone wrong in the lives of able bodied .. *ahem* sorry, normal people’s lives, lying about you, making sure that you’re attacked in the streets and in your homes because people despise you, we’re taking away your transport and your social access so we never have to see you and, while some of you got the message, the rest of you still just. won’t. die. When will you learn?’