Government ‘inciting abuse of disabled’

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’.” 

Morning Star Online



1 thought on “Government ‘inciting abuse of disabled’

  1. Clive says:

    Charities? Pah!

    Interesting site/forum-

    (taken from same forum/site) But let’s focus on Incapacity Benefit and Jobseeker’s Allowance, the figures go back to 1999. These are the recorded claim figures as they were at August for each year from 1999 to 2009.

    Historic Data

    JSA(Left column) IB/ESA(Right column)

    Aug-99 1,181.86 – 2,655.38
    Aug-00 1,015.83 – 2,714.85
    Aug-01 907.68 – 2,763.62
    Aug-02 890.54 – 2,769.36
    Aug-03 851.37 – 2,777.06
    Aug-04 769.25 – 2,774.93
    Aug-05 825.11 – 2,725.47
    Aug-06 900.92 – 2,683.00
    Aug-07 788.45 – 2,641.11
    Aug-08 868.73 – 2,590.61
    Aug-09 1,485.32 – 2,632.74

    They are from sets of statistics released on the 17th February 2010 by the National Audit Office under data set ID170210SSFEB10

    No data is held for DLA claims in this set.

    From this you will see there is a sharp rise in the unemployment stats from 868.73 in 2008 to 1,485.32 in 2009.

    The IB/ESA stats include all new claims for ESA which was introduced in October/November 2008, from then on you could not claim IB and would need to make an ESA claim.

    The JSA stats also include unemployment benefit which was paid up until 1995.

    Although the DLA stats are not in this report, they are stated to be 3.10 million as of August 2009.

    It is reasonable to conclude that on the whole the number of incapacity claimants (be it IB or ESA) has remained relatively constant at around 2.6 million claims for both. The substantial rise is in JSA from 2008 onwards.

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