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The number of people in receipt of employment and support allowance (ESA) and incapacity benefit (IB) has risen for the fourth quarter in a row, according to DWP statistics released today. At current rates of increase there will be more claimants in receipt of ESA and IB by the next election than there were when IDS took over. It also means that the enormous suffering caused by the massive IB to ESA transfer programme has so far reduced the clamant count by just 2.5%, a drop of only 70,000 out of over 2.5 million.

The latest ESA estimates by the DWP reveal that the number of people in receipt of ESA and IB rose to 2,515,000 in August 2014, the highest number of awards since August 2012.

In just the last three months, awards have increased by 35,000.

At current rates of increase this means that by May 2015 the number of claimants receiving ESA and IB will stand at 2.62 million, which is higher than the 2.61 million claimants when IDS took over the DWP in May 2010. The current trend reverses a long-term fall in the number of sickness benefits claimants.

It also means that in spite of the hundreds of millions of pounds spent on moving claimants off IB and onto ESA, the claimant count has dropped by just 2.5% since migration began.

A pilot involving 1,700 claimants being moved off IB and onto ESA began in October 2010, but migration proper did not begin until February 2011, when the claimant count was 2.58 million. It is now 2.51 million.

A massive amount of distress, hardship and worsening of health conditions has been caused by the IB to ESA transfer, which is far behind schedule and still not quite completed. It now looks as though all that suffering will have had absolutely no effect on the number of IB and ESA claimants, but will have enriched private sector companies by many tens of millions of pounds.  If his success in cutting the benefits bill and helping the sick and disabled back into work is what IDS wishes to be judged by, then it seems likely that he will be judged very harshly indeed.

The latest DWP monthly statistics can be downloaded from this link.


+2 #5 Blackcat 2014-10-17 23:04
I think this is on topic. A poor woman with CP was not allowed to use the loo at Mitcham JC and wet herself.

This is not me trying to be funny,technical ly it is a householders duty to allow somebody to use the loo in Scotland. If people have to go to JC for Jobsearch they should be given immediate access to the loo.
I stipulate this under' reasonable adjustments' when asked on application forms,I think somebody should look at this under the Equalities Act I am not best pleased by this report about the poor woman. I also include it in my WCA form about needing access to a loo.
+2 #4 Paul M Cronk 2014-10-17 10:03
It seems every Reform has backfired on them. For instance, ATOS has cost them 100s of millions (plus 60 million in Decisions overturned at Appeal) and the Bedroom Tax has saddled Local Councils with millions of pounds worth of Rent Arrears and unpaid Council Tax all of which they are struggling to collect. The UC is jammed and labelled by one of their own (departing) IT Managers, as unworkable and ill badly thought out! they really have to go!!
+3 #3 SWLABR 2014-10-16 11:32
Enriching the private sector has very probably always been the point of the exercise, just like everything IDS does. What does the Work Programme actually do successfully? Transfers money from the public purse to private pockets. The proposed claimant card scheme? Just the same. This is looting the public purse and it's going on in broad daylight.
+5 #2 Lone warrior 2014-10-16 11:20
The truth will eventually come through, but perhaps the numbers show that an election is due, and perhaps if they return to power, these figures will be cut savagely, and indiscriminatel y. but I must say without any prejudice at all that had I been in power Duncan Smith would have gone a long time ago. He has shown himself to be total incapable.
It is not welfare reform, it is an excuse for destroying the welfare state, at all, and any cost.
To return us to begging on the streets, we already have the equivalent of the workhouse, Zero hours contracts.
So at the expense of the sick and disabled , private companies have been handsomely paid for nothing, billions wasted, for nothing, Money that could have gone into a proper reform and social inclusion for people with disabilities and long term illness.
A program of inclusion , not exclusion and demonization.
A program of help, that is so desperately needed.
A program that could have encouraged companies to employ people with disability, to help give them self esteem, to help them be included in our society. To give them hope.
Instead the Tories have given them nothing but despair, and even greater poverty and exclusion. They have took away their hope.
As one of the wealthiest countries in the world we should be ashamed.
We should lead the way, in inclusion, in generating self esteem, in creating a free and just society, that people with disability are members of.
Our grandfathers and fathers did not die in two wars just to allow their grandsons and daughters to be demonised and kept in poverty, because of illness or disability, they died for freedom , justice, and inclusion for all.
If you are a member of the tory party reading this then hang your head in shame, I know I would.
+6 #1 Paul Richards 2014-10-15 22:35
The so called 'Welfare Reform' programme from IDS and this totally uncaring & vindictive Coalition Government has been and is continuing to be, an unmitigated disaster for them, but not least for all of the poor claimants at the sharp end of it all.
What I (and I am sure many others!) would like to know is when is the TRUTH going to be reported and finally come out into the public domain? Especially on the main TV News Channels - as it is at the moment, because of the non-reporting and allegedly, maybe slightly biased and twisted reporting - the real truth is not known to the outside general public.
When are they going to stop this 'Welfare Reform' train crash?
When are they going to stop the insane waste of hard-working taxpayer's money and reverse these measures to make it fairer for everyone?
And when are IDS's policies going to be found out and he finally goes? Surely all of this cannot be too far off now!

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