A media hate campaign against support group claimants has begun, as the government moves to abolish the work capability assessment (WCA) and allow unqualified jobcentre work coaches to decide whether claimants are capable of work. Sick and disabled claimants are even being blamed for the rise in immigration into the UK.

The lead article in the Telegraph of 24 May revealed “Millions on benefits do not have to seek work”.

The sub-headline added “Taxpayers face bankrolling payments indefinitely for 3.7 million given exemption from having to find a job.”

The article highlighted the number of people claiming ESA and UC because of conditions such as anxiety and depression, back pain, wrist and hand disorders and carpal tunnel syndrome.

It went on to say that “Britain's growing worklessness crisis comes as official figures on Thursday are expected to show net migration has soared to record levels of between 700,000 and 1 million.”

Iain Duncan Smith was cited as saying that the UK needs to concentrate less on bringing in workers from abroad and more on getting British people on sickness benefits back into the labour market.

He said “Companies should now be ending their addiction to cheap labour. They should be focusing on improving productivity by a greater increase in technology, and by training and getting back into work these people on sickness benefits.

 “There is no reason why many of these people on these benefits should not be in work. We’ve got a real problem”

Elsewhere in the paper IDS was quoted as saying:

"Sadly, by being exempt from welfare rules designed to help people into work, they are bound to suffer further – for being in work is acknowledged as a strong health treatment, particularly for those with depression or anxiety."

Meanwhile, the Jeremy Vine on 5 show last week put out a tweet seen by millions of people which said

Is it time to crack down on jobless benefits?

 “Nearly four million people in the UK are being supported by the state without ever having to look for a job.

 “That’s because they’ve been deemed too sick to work.

 “Is it wrong for taxpayers to fund them indefinitely?”

After arousing considerable outrage the tweet was deleted, but a programme on the subject went ahead all the same.

Clearly the DWP are expecting considerable resistance to their project to abolish the WCA. That they are determined to go ahead with it is clear from the announcement that the combined PIP and WCA assessment contracts have now been awarded. Attacking support group claimants in the media as workshy and responsible for record levels of immigration is one way of convincing the public that the DWP are on the right track.

UPDATE, 1 JUNE
Under the headline “Exactly how much of your salary bankrolls the welfare state” and with a sub-heading of “Britain isn’t working – calculate what it’s costing you” the Telegraph yesterday added a calculator to its website to allow readers to work out how much of their tax goes towards bankrolling the welfare state.”

UPDATE 5 JUNE 
A tweet by the Telegraph reads:

"Millions are claiming benefits without ever having to look for work, helping to push the tax burden to hit its highest point since the Second World War . . . It raises the question, just how much of our hard-won salaries are spent on the benefits of those who do not work? With the calculator below, Telegraph Money can now reveal how much of your salary goes towards bankrolling the welfare state."

A number of commentators on Twitter have suggested a parallel between the language of this campaign and a poster issued in 1938 supporting Nazi eugenics which read:   "This person who suffers a hereditary disease has a lifelong cost of 60.000 Reichsmarks to the National Community. Comrade, that is your money too." 

Thanks to the readers who have pointed out that the Spectator has been getting in on the act too.  In an article published on 21 May headed "When will the Tories face up to Britain’s benefits scandal?" the magazine claimed that whilst UC was an improvement "the problem now is people, often citing mental health issues, claiming sickness and disability benefit."

The article goes on to say:   "The UK system seems to have been thrown into crisis by such claims and has no idea how to properly process a mental health claim. So we end up with 5,000 claims a day – a day! – for sickness benefit . . . The waste of lives is one thing, but then there’s the waste of money." 

 

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    Inglis 25 · 11 months ago
    This is why medical assessment's should be carried out by Specialist Doctors. It is very difficult, and in some cases impossible to determine the depth of a persons suffering simply by looking at them. Many are suffering from Hidden illnesses.Therefore just because there is no obvious sign of ill health it does not mean that person is fit to work, or that they are not sick.Remember  many people suffer from hidden illnesses. Surely If a Fully Qualified Medical Doctor has examines an individual and concluded that a person is not fit for work, that decision based on medical findings should be accepted.

    How can an unqualified person like Jeremy Vine or Ian Duncan Smith make the decision that people who are long term sick can miraculously become fit for work, based simply on the assumption that all long term sick are simply work shy therefore they should be in work.
    I know that many long term sick people long to be able to work, they will openly say this. But sadly those same people struggle to do even the most basic of things.

    Little wonder that many Doctors want to leave Britain. Not only are they under paid and under valued. They now find that their integrity and decision making is being undermined by people with no Medical training at all. They are extremely frustrated by Politicians and their arrogance. Doctors have nothing to gain from declaring a person unfit for work, they have done this to protect the welfare of sick people.

    Every time a Conservative Government comes to Power they look down their Entitled noses at those less fortunate than themselves and decide that those out of work for reasons of Mental Health, Sickness, or those who are Chronically ill are just work shy and lazy.Nothing could be further from the truth. Where is this Governments compassion for those who are suffering? Why do they find it so difficult to have empathy for the sick? 

    This is why! Because they have never felt the pain of hunger, or had the stress and worry about how they are going to afford to keep a roof over their heads or the worry of having enough money to feed and cloth their children. Cheap highly processed food is all people can afford. Many can't afford to cook food or to heat their homes because they can't afford the energy bills. We all know that stress is a killer. Now they are adding this extra burden of forcing the long term sick back into work. 

    One more point the long term sick are NOT to blame for the increase in migration. The facts speak for themselves we can yet again blame this wicked Conservative Government for lying to the people of Britain.They toldus that we would all be better off if we left the European Union. We now know that the true reason for getting us out of the Union was to change the laws that used to protect us from abuses such as forcing sick people and the elderly back into work. 

    Brexit is the true cause of increased migration. The European Dublin Agreement made it clear that we could send immigrants back to France etc. But due to the quashing of the Dublin Agreement we can no longer send Migrants back to the European country that they came from. Conservative blunders yet again.

    Rather than admitting the truth they do what they have always done they blame the weakest.
    We must protect ourselves from those wicked people and the best way to do this is to vote them out.




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      Blue · 11 months ago
      @Inglis 25 this is precisely why they WON'T accept the word of a person's consultants and doctors. You are making the error that they want to support those unfit for work, when in reality they want to promote the view that, actually, they are fit for work.
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    Bart70 · 11 months ago
    A lot if main stream media is creating hate against disabled and people who are unable to work lately. Like many disabled I worked for over 30 years before I was forced to give up work and paid a lot of money into system! Once again the government encourages media to blame anyone but then for their failures. Immigrants are to blame for the lack of schools, doctors and housing. Disabled and sick are to blame for wasting taxpayers money and so on. Yet it’s the government’s failure to invest in basic infrastructure and waste money by supporting nuclear armed countries with foreign aid to name but a few. 
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    Piltdown Man · 11 months ago
    It is aginst the law for e.g. to be homophobic or racist so why are the government and the media allowed to act in such a discriminatory way towards sick and disabled people, villifying them with malicious and derogatory black propganda to suit their own ends?

    I have struggled with several diagnosed severe mental health issues for over 50 years. The safety nets that were in place decades ago no longer exist; gone are the psychiatric wards, day care hospitals to be replaced with the so called 'care in the community' (cobblers). What remains of the system is virtually non-existent and as much use as a chocolate fire guard. So now you find yourself not only isolated and socially excluded but then subject to the witch hunt of welfare reforms which is being ignited again for the second time.

    Becoming ill with severe mental health issues IS NOT A LIFESTYLE CHOICE!

    This latest attack agenda by the government and the media is nothing short of EGREGIOUS and is fundamentally and morally wrong. They should be ashamed of themselves.
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      andria2milly · 11 months ago
      @Piltdown Man Very Good Question

      Women and disabled people need to stop putting up with Patriarchal attitudes and behavious as they are actually Killing U
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Jude · 11 months ago
      @Piltdown Man Your 1st paragraph is spot on. I have often questioned why the toxic talk against disabled isn't considered discriminatory 
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      Inglis 25 · 11 months ago
      @Piltdown Man Well said you are 100% correct.
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    Gina · 11 months ago
    Terrified.
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    irritated tax payer coughing · 11 months ago
    What leaps out (as intended) is the phrase ...Workshy  & Scrongers  plus its our money..well can someone here explarto me how this Does not apply to Boris bloody Johnson & his legal expenses which are paid for by US & yes I'd class him as workshy scrounger faciliated by Ex BBC chum...plus I also beleive  it  foing to be a further £250,000
    .... How much was that wallpaper? ...
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    jan evans · 11 months ago
    I am now 64 but worked full-time for 42yrs in various roles inc: health administrator, retail, hospitality then later in teaching in further education and the prison service: 42yrs - burnt out! I have moderate ME/CFS and retired due to ill health.  My neighbour recently called the DWP to tell them I had 'gone on holiday' while on benefits.  I am often house bound but, am eternally grateful that I still have a couple of friends who will help me with these wonderful acts of human  kindness: I am scared that I would otherwise despair of my shriveled and non-productive life - I miss working.  Meanwhile, the selfishness and cruelty of others never does cease to shock me.
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    Mary · 11 months ago
    What utter rubbish, my son now in his thirties has been on disability and pip from being a child he has attention deficit disorder ,autism ,severe  depression. we have had to fight for disabilty benefits all his life, not because he is not entitled but because DWP make it so difficult to claim for the very people that need it . i have worried about my son all his life he has learning difficultys he is not capable of sorting out claim forms on his own .i am now in poor health Who will help my son when i am gone NOT THE DWP !!! thats for sure
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      Jenna · 11 months ago
      @Mary I too have 2 sons with autism. I have had to fight for them their whole life. with the system. Autism is a hidden dissability, but comes wuth a multitude of difficulties for the person suffering it. They cannot exist in this world without help. I too am getting older and am worrying about who will take care of them, definetly not the state. I am living of savings because benefits were a nightmare to claim (i too have multipal health concerns) they are fastly disapearing. i have also done dispickable things to survive, like sex chatlines just to survive. :(
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    Caroline Lingwood · 11 months ago
    I believe people r jealous. The thought that they have to work for their money drives them mad. I have had rheumatoid arthritis for 30 yrs or more  with very deformed joints. I would love to be able to swap places with a healthy person. I wonder how many would? The results would be very telling. These moaners need to be educated on how hard it is to live with many of the diseases that these people have and to have to work would be impossible. 
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    Not work shy · 11 months ago
    Its a narrow minded viewpoint to portray claimants in a negative way, its a distraction technique and an easy way  target . Its a form of Pimping really forcing claimants into unsuitable work to bring in extra tax to clear the uk debt. Its no picnic to live on benefit and feel embarrassed to admit you are because of how the media coherse negative opinions . Carers have no choice but to live on a low income and even worse when they  also have health issues and loose lifes career oppotunities but still pay tax dental costs and prescritions . My son is visually impaired having no career oppotunities csused serious mental break down. M Ps do not live in the real world, dont tar everyone with the same brush. 
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    Ken · 11 months ago
    Ask how much money is paid into the pockets of Party sponsors.
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    Fiona · 11 months ago
    Counter arguement has to be mental health services the Cinderella of the NHS, and the NHS is collapsing. Huge waits for people with serious mental health proiblems and then in one case I know of after waiting a year offered 6 sessions of CBT counselling which was usefull, they did not even get to see a psychiatrist.
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      MrFibro · 11 months ago
      @Fiona Hi Fiona,

      The goverment purposely wants the NHS to collapse and not to recover.  This is so they can sell off the NHS to private investors.  Meaning only the well off, can afford to be seen by a doctor, and or go into hospital.  It's been on the cards for decades, and i'd guess out loud and say the plans/ framework is already in motion.

      Millions will suffer miserably.  The tories blame it on the pandemic, and people living longer etc.  The truth is completely different, over population of the british isles and giving the rest of the world free medical care @ the expence of the British taxpayer as played a huge role in this for many decades.  The tories have not invested in home grown GP's, nurses, specialists etc across the health board.  The tories attitude is always to do, too little too late.  Then when the crap hits the fan, the tories look for scapegoats, and use the media to help put the blame on tory failures onto joe public.  

      The tories try to hide the truths by spending billions of british taxpayers monies to fuel wars in other nations, which really are of no concern to us.  The tories are masters of deflection, and finger pointing, and blaming others.

      Instead of pumping in countless billions into a train that gets you to your destination say in london a few minutes earlier, the monies would be better spent on training our own people to  do the jobs we have a shortfall of.  And the monies could also by new equipment, and buildings for our  vital NHS.  Multiple other billions are wasted by the tory party, but thats ok by the goverment its only taxpayers money right.
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    Amy · 11 months ago
    They also need to add a calculator for people to assess how much tax payers money goes to paying towards Mps expenses, cars, rents, free meals, utility bills (because they don't pay for gas and electricity during this cost of living.) Because their £80k wages can't possibly pay for anything themselves, needing second jobs because their  tax payers salary didn't pay enough... Or look at how much tax payers wages were lost over covid scandals where they were paying their mates for dodgy contacts. Or, how much they paid for Boris Johnson government legal teams paid for many times by tax payer. It would be great to have a calculator to work these things out too... 
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      J Neill · 11 months ago
      @Amy The whole thing is very scary. I know its been said before but we seem to be sleep walking into a fascist state. What next I wonder 'correction camps' for the workshy?
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      lee · 11 months ago
      @Amy well said their the scroungers and work shy the MPs
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      A sibley · 11 months ago
      @Amy Totally agree …Government is not about serving the public ..it’s serving oneself as an MP ..Liz truss 50 days as Pm 115000 pounds a year for life …for being a failure 
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    Amalegra · 11 months ago
    Fix the NHS so that treatment for ALL ailments, including mental health, is available promptly and effectively. Fix education so as to  improve job prospects for all. Fix the universities so that they are places delivering excellence for our students and not businesses admitting those paying the highest  fees (ie foreign students). Fix training programmes, government or workplace. Fix the housing crisis so that a safe, affordable home is achievable for all. Fix corruption whereby the wealthy can hide their assets abroad and employ cunning accountants to reduce their tax bill quite legally. Fix the ‘jobs for the boys’ mindset in government, government departments and the like. Fix a realistic living wage. Etc etc. THEN. and only then ‘fix’ the welfare system to make it fairer to all!
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      mrs DB · 11 months ago
      @Debs WELL SAID. MY BLOOD BOILS WHEN I READ THINGS LIKE THE ABOVE.... those who are having a go about people on benefits need to dig deeper and find out how many of those people on benefits are suffering because the NHS arent coping with conditions brought on by not being able to afford to eat proper meals, for 1 thing. existing conditions, including hereditary ones are being made worse cos of theNHS crisis. how many of those moaning about paying taxes will be going on holidays abroad on more than one occasion when just to be able toafford a day out would benefit someone with mental health problems. i find just sitting by a stream watching the water bubbling past ,very therabeutic, but i cant even get out to do such a thing due to a fall.... would love to know how many of those moaners above, would tolerate what ive had to tolerate due to the foot injuries i recieved when i fell 18months ago.i feel like im climbing walls here at times. and im not depressed , at least not most of the time. ive never been abroad and my last holiday was at a friends in cleveland ,70+ miles away, over 10 years ago,enjoying trips over the yorkshire moors or the east coast.simple things.. but still felt much better after the break.but whats betting you ,who moan about paying taxes, will be off on your holidays abroad paying tons more pounds out ,in spite of paying taxes.you must have plenty coming in if your paying everyones benefits as you reckon you are
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Debs · 11 months ago
      @Amalegra Couldn’t agree more!
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      DH · 11 months ago
      @Amalegra Spot on
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    Ross · 11 months ago
    T4

    #MURDERbyanyothername
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    LITTLE HITLERS ! · 11 months ago
    Sadly, there are a lot of Little Hitlers in this country with their own very nasty little agendas, most of whom own million pound properties and think that are hard up due to the cost of living crisis if they can only afford the 2 Mercedes and have to give up the third. Their main occupation is keeping everyone around them poor which of course makes them look even more wealthy and feel even more important whilst the majority suffer, at their expense , of course. There is not a brain cell amongst them, I think the common name is Tories.
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    Anthony Sibley · 11 months ago
     Having  worked for 40 years and now diagnosed with progressive MS I am expected to live off my personal pension from 59 to 67 with PIP as my only benefit . I am in the process of trying to find  part time employment but alas not having much luck having been told that I have a great CV but it’s too specialized and I would have to retrain which is not very attractive to many employers … Frankly those that throw stones at people who are unable to work are part of the problem … The government has ignored the disabled and the pandemic has created a number of people who are now unable to work due to long Covid . I would love to work but I am viewed as damaged goods .
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      Ralph · 11 months ago
      @Anthony Sibley I am in the same situation as you  with secondary progressive MS. I am 64and have had MS for about 25 years,  having to try and hide my symptoms to stay in work .
      I am slightly better off than some being able to rely on a couple of private pensions. 
      But if I could I would love to be able to work.
      I  do a little in my garden and I  am too exhausted for the next 2-3 days that all I can do is sleep. 
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    Paul · 11 months ago
    It is actually very hard to get sick benefits these days.People look down at people on sick benefits.But your health could decline in a heartbeat. I remember a woman once who had the successful career the big house and the Mercedes on the drive.She became ill and ended up on benefits.Lost the big house and car.She looked down on people on benefits.she said none of want to work,etc.All sit about smoking and drinking,etc.Then her health declined.changed her tune now,why are benefits so low,etc.
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    Marilyn · 11 months ago
    My daughter worked hard from leaving school until she was nearly 40, then had a complete mental breakdown through child sexual abuse that she kept to herself. She was suicidal for a long time, she had fantastic help from mental health team. But there is no cure, and she is very fragile still. Having to fight to keep her PIP does not help her at all.
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      dillyvilly · 11 months ago
      @Marilyn My heart  <3  goes out to your daughter Marilyn and to you too. I don't know you but i empathise completely with your  incredibly brave daughter and you, her wonderfully supportive Mum. having been through similar and not disclosing until in my forties too. I just want you to know am sending (((( so much love, very gentle hugs and understanding )))) to you both.  I hope mental health services are able to offer more support. There is a way for them to intervene as far as 'PIP Review assessments' (or whatever they call then now) are concerned to prevent the cruel re-traumatising effects which cause such horrendous relapses in mental, emotional and physical health. Do hope this helps in letting you know that you are not alone.  xx
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    Leda Prest · 11 months ago
    To JVine, IOakeshott, Telegraph and Spectator.  I’ve had that conversation, that one that says
    ‘ this is terminal unless we operate very soon like by the end of the week’ . I didn’t die but the collateral effects of the surgery were terminal to my career.  As a mature student I studied law and was working in law centres when the news of a brain tumour hit.  I  will continue to be monitored for rest of life.  Come and live my life bouncing along the bottom - coping with physical, emotional and mental difficulties.  Okay I’m still here but I function physically at about 50% of the previous me.  Obviously having had a neurosurgeon rummaging around in my brain for 10 hours has impacted on my cognitive ability particularly to remember - bottom line is to the sociopaths - you want my brain tumour - you can have it and bear in mind it can happen to anyone including you. 
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      Lewis · 11 months ago
      @Leda Prest Leda Prest, my best wishes on your recovery, I feel I understand 'to a certain degree' what you are going through. I suffered a Significant Traumatic Brain Injury which caused several strokes. Went through the mangle that is our Social Services but got through it in the end. After working for HMG for over 50 years I was thrown on the scrap heap. I am well past retirement age now, and hope and pray that I will now be left in peace! People don't understand the huge impact a brain trauma can cause, I didnt, but I do now. Good luck to you, and anybody else suffering from the indignity of having to rely on the good will of this government.
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      Chrissy · 11 months ago
      @Leda Prest That’s exactly what happened to me.  Diagnosed with stage 3 breast at 50 and my long term employer used the pandemic as an excuse to make me redundant.  I work part time but also rely on benefits I am a shadow of my former self due to ongoing medication and the nerve damage from Chemo. This new legislation is worrying me as I cannot get pip as I don’t really have mobility issues as a single person I barely survive as it is. 
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    Kirstie · 11 months ago
    How about the Tories look at why there are 5,000 claims a day because of mental health? There is a basically no help through the NHS for mental health at all. Mental health has been grossly unfunded and basically abolished in some regions of the country, all down to the tories. Thats not to mention the horrendous waiting lists for physical health under the NHS. People are unable to work because there is no suitable treatment through the NHS. No one can afford private as they cant work. Its a vicious cycle caused by the tories and stops with the Tories. 
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