Over 50 charities condemned the government today for “contributing to hatred towards disabled people” by portraying them as cheats and scroungers.
The coalition suggested that the government is using “dangerously misleading” statistics to fuel claims that high numbers of benefits claimants are faking.
The Department for Work and Pensions released figures last week which suggested that only 7 per cent of claimants for employment support allowance, the new benefit that replacing incapacity benefits, were unable to do any sort of work.
This led to claims that 75 per cent of sickness benefits claimants were faking.
But Disability Benefits Consortium and MS Society spokeswoman Hayley Jordan condemned the “irresponsible and inaccurate portrayal of benefits claimants.
“Hours after an important committee of cross-party MPs condemned irresponsible and inaccurate portrayal of benefits claimants, the department’s statistics led to more reports wrongly labelling people as ‘faking.’
“Disabled people are very disappointed that the government is refusing to ensure accurate reporting and may be contributing to stigmatisation, victimisation and exclusion,” she said.
Disability Alliance spokesman Neil Coyle said: “The government must ensure appropriate support is available to disabled people to get and keep work.
“It is very worrying that some support has dropped in the last year.
“Sadly, the language to describe disabled people needing support has become more offensive and this also contributes to barriers to work as employers suspect genuinely disabled people of faking or being ‘work-shy’.”