24 February 2011

Professor Paul Gregg, one of the people who designed employment and support allowance (ESA), has warned that the work capability assessment (WCA), the medical test for ESA is ‘a complete mess’ and ‘badly malfunctioning’

Professor Gregg told the Guardian newspaper that the WCA had been a failure:

"In the first trial, the system did not work. We need to trial the new, proposed, reformed system to check and prove that it works and avoids the serious stress and misclassification of people that we have already seen, before we start implementing it on a large and vulnerable population," he said. "The test so far has caused a huge amount of anguish to the people who have gone through it. We need to have something that is working accurately before we apply it nationally.

"We shouldn't roll this out until we have something that is working."

Shadow employment secretary Stephen Timms said the new test was ‘the right thing to do’ but he is concerned that it is being done in a rush. 

Given that it was NewLabour who designed both the original and the new WCA, he could hardly argue it was a bad idea. 

But if Timms is genuinely concerned about the government’s haste, he could very easily ‘pray’ against the introduction of the new regulations in the hope of forcing a debate and a vote.

So far, there is no indication that he intends to do so.

Full story in the Guardian.

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