‘Fit for Work’ Part Two – BBC R4 – The suicide of Mr Kevin Dooley – By Jolyon Jenkins

For 30 years, governments have tried to get disabled people into work by toughening up benefit rules.

Part of the motivation has been to cut the welfare bill, but it’s also been framed as an attempt to stop disabled people “languishing” on benefits. But the policy has had tragic consequences, particularly for people with mental illness, who have felt coerced and pressured, as the department for work and pensions has deemed them fit for work.

Many – maybe hundreds – have taken their own lives.

Jolyon Jenkins investigates how the policy came about.

In this episode, he looks at how, despite evidence that the Fit for Work test was failing, governments of both main parties ignored official warnings and pressed ahead with it, expanding the scheme dramatically.

Producer: Jolyon Jenkins An Off Beat Media production for BBC Radio 4

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