News:

Consultation on WCA announced

The Department of Health and the Department of Work and Pensions have issued a joint Green Paper on the subject of how to help more people with long-term health problems or disabilities into work.

The Guardian covered this news in the following article:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/oct/31/sitting-at-home-on-sickness-benefits-is-bad-for-health-damian-green?CMP=share_btn_tw

The BBC covered the news on their website:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-37810701

This Green Paper opens up a consultation on reforming the Work Capability Assessment.

The consultation follows the announcement that people with severe conditions will no longer face reassessments for their benefits. It will examine how people receiving ESA can be helped back into employment without having their benefits put at risk while they search for a job.

To read more and to take part in the consultation visit:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/work-health-and-disability-improving-lives

Dr Simon Duffy of the Centre for Welfare Reform said:

"There is no doubt that paid work is one valuable role that some people can play. In fact the UK has very high levels of employment, but low levels of productivity combined with high levels of inequality. It looks increasingly like we have managed to achieve the rather foolish trick of forcing people into unproductive work, on low salaries. Sometimes it feels as if social control, rather than social value, is the true goal of Government policy.

"In fact paid work is only one kind of valuable role. People can play positive roles as family members, carers and as citizens. Moreover the processes that Government uses to encourage people into paid work are in direct conflict with what research recommends. Instead of working with people and businesses, in our communities, we have invested in expensive private sector companies and national charities who have proved highly ineffective in supporting people into paid work - even when that is the right outcome for them.

"A decent society would balance income security, positive incentives for work and value for other forms of social contribution. It is to be hoped that this Green Paper marks a possible change in the disastrous policies of the last 6 years which have seen the UK rightly vilified for undermine the human rights of its citizens, particularly those with disabilities or health conditions."

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