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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    Linda · 11 months ago
    When will the Tories face up to Britain’s benefits scandal?

    The only benefits scandal led by the Tories is that they make claimants jump through hoops, deny them benefits and put them through months and months of mental torture wondering where there next meal might be coming from!

    These liars in MSM make it sound like it's a piece of cake to get yourself exempt from working. I seem to recall several years back the DWP, under the Tories, announcing that there would be certain categories of people who would be able to claim exemption from working. Did that promise ever come to fruition? Did it beggary!

    And as for in work benefits such as UC. The majority of people in receipt of UC are working, a lot of them full time! The need for claiming help is because of the greed of landlords and the poor wages we pay! But hey, never let the facts get in the way of a good hate campaign against people in a way worse position than any of these billionaires who run things will ever be!

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    Rosie · 11 months ago
    Most people I know on benefits have paid into the system for years and will never receive in benefits what they've paid in. National Insurance is no different to other insurance - you wouldn't be angry with your neighbour for claiming for an accident on their car insurance or losses from a burglary but in this instance, people are being encouraged to despise those who need to claim on an insurance policy that the decriers also have the advantage of if they need it. It's disgusting. One guy I know would be set for life if he only got a fraction of his income tax back!
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      GingerNinja · 11 months ago
      @Rosie This is a very good point and one that few ever consider. Workers throughout the UK pay into the NI system so that they can receive the benefits of free health care etc. I remember my dad always saying that he left school at 16 and signed a contract with the Govt. He'd pay his National Insurance via every paycheck and the state would provide services for which he'd no longer have to pay-as-you-go. 
      The Welfare State at its inception changed the lives of the British people. Everyone had the same access to health care, optical care, and dentistry regardless of class, race or salary. And, if they should be in the unfortunate position of being out of work, there would be a safety net, so you and your family didn't fall into destitution.  This is socialism in practice, working for the good of the nation. And the country prospered and the number of families in abject poverty decreased, along with infant mortality and childhood illnesses such as whooping cough!

      How is it that 70 years later the welfare state has become the 21st-century equivalent of the workhouse? Claimants are living in destitution, choosing between heating or eating, juggling their meager income to cover the most basic of living costs, often with bailiffs at the door. Plus DWP can deduct up to 25% of their benefit at source to repay debts to the state and third parties, with no consideration of the consequences of reducing an income that doesn't afford a basic standard of living. 

      Now we have the right-winged MSM lsat there in their middle-class, suburban houses sneering at those who are suffering.
       that funds claimants' lavish lifestyles. Lavish - do me a favour! 


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      Lynne · 11 months ago
      @Rosie Well said.
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    shaodowpony · 11 months ago
    there is an interesting documentary on radio 4 atm called "fit for work" it looks at this very issue and why government did what they did. it's on Friday at 11 am radio 4, the previous episode is on BBC sounds now. it's a journalistic look into the links to American insurance models and the current wca. 
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      Piggymitch · 11 months ago
      @shaodowpony There's an interesting contributor to YouTube calling himself 'KernowDamo' who's made an excellent post about this and many related matters!
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    Wendy · 11 months ago
    I was Medically Retired from my beloved job as lead Occupatioal Therapist 19 years go. So I've obiously been "sponging not suffering" I've had 5 almost deadly illnesses requiring emergency surgeries and month of post operative wound care. I'm now a 33hr per week job shared by 3 
    P.As yes I am expensive. I am actively engaged in my community 🙏 prayer group. I have helped other disabled people claim benefits. I learned Hypnotherapy to help grieving friends, exam stress teens and smoking Cessation. I'm not well enough to make it a business as my health or illness dictates the few and far between clients I can see. I  am happy, but cannot tell you how hurtful it is to be always justifying how unwell I am. I was blind for 9 months, and saw nothing with a toddler to care for. She is now running her own little business. My life has positively impacted so many. What would Mr Vine have me do? Beg? I'm not well enough for that? So Natzi euthanasia? Be as well as God gives strength  amen.
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    Jo · 11 months ago
    Unfortunately there will always be some who find ways to trick the system and have no intention of ever working even though they are capable.  It is those people that the Govt should be targeting and not those who are genuinely too ill or disabled to work.  Although not all disabled people are incapable of working and some are in good, well paying jobs.  More needs to be done to encourage employers to take on the disabled and give them a chance
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    Clyde · 11 months ago
    If only this press were as quick to point out, all the tax avoiding schemes, this goverment have in place. 
    This Tory goverment are getting put out on there buttocks. 
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      Michael · 11 months ago
      @Clyde I believe a figure of £1500billion in avoided tax is being bandied around. Do the Tories or their accomplices in the MSM say anything about that? Do they hell! It's easier for them to gaslight those who can least fight back and divert attention away from the real criminals, those who dodge paying their fair share of tax and offload the tax burden onto those who can least afford it. As for greedy landlords, hit them where it hurts them most - their wallets and their bank accounts. 
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    meowcat · 11 months ago
    demonising the poor yet again, like they think its our fault that the country is the way it is, how about the telegraph looks into all the unpaid corporation taxes every year that would far outweigh the amount of money people claim on benefits, then again its mainstream media again so they have to do what the tories tell them to. the reason there are alot of people on benefits is idue to companys hiring cheap labour for more profit.
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      Ralph · 11 months ago
      @outdoorellen I like it . Yes.
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      outdoorellen · 11 months ago
      @meowcat Totally agree….and….more benefit money is UNclaimed than is fraudulently claimed….been like that for years.  Think about the Millions! of pensioners who don’t yet claim Pension Credit and who’ve therefore missed out on all the recent col payments……and as for the rich 🤑 types, persons or businesses who employ people to make sure they pay no tax….expletives deleted!  How much are they stealing every year from us.
          Also my state pension is ‘deferred salary’,  NOT a Benefit….cheek!
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    j,lee · 11 months ago
    They always have money for nuclear bombs and warfare..
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    Claire · 11 months ago
    Wishing away my 60s to get on pension at 67.It really shouldn’t be like this .Why can people not understand long term illness and the impact on a normal life.The only way is if it happened to them ,sadly.Strength to all .
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      mrs DB · 11 months ago
      @Claire if my memory serves me correctly..it was ian duncan smith.. the onewho lied about his cv on a number of counts, who actually lived off his wife at the time he saidthat. he started the cruel sanctions that were heaped out to those on jout of work benefits, for the slightest misdemeanour
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      outdoorellen · 11 months ago
      @Deana Kerrigan Yes, state pension is deferred salary….not a benefit.   Don’t remember which blue ? creep introduced that idea.
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      Lynne · 11 months ago
      @Tracey 👍👍 most people don't understand when you get finished in work on health grounds it is so hard to accept after working you entire life. Not everyone on benefits wants to be in this position, most have been hard working independent people prior to having to turn to benefits to live.
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      Lynne · 11 months ago
      @Claire Sad to think you have to wish your life away for pension age, but well said. Stay strong.
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      Linda · 11 months ago
      @Claire I've been doing that for the last ten years Claire, initially it was to reach 60 and then the horrid realisation that they had snuck it up to 66 hit me. I reach that milestone this December. All this stress has exacerbated my health conditions and made life oft times almost intolerable as a result. I am just so grateful that I will escape this new torture they plan to inflict on claimants where the only person deciding if you are too ill to work or not will be a jumped up little so and so with absolutely no empathy or qualifications, who is there on a power trip, at the Job Centre. A truly terrifying future awaits the chronically sick and disabled.
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    clearwater · 11 months ago
    In the Telegraph today Saturday, more bias -   

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    Wo · 11 months ago
    Hey what can I say.  For many years I fought the system. Various appeals against DWP for wrongly accessing my claims . I had 4 appeals in total some took literally 2 years to go through the system. I won every appeal. Looking back I realized the fraudulent accessments were a con. Same tricks used on every accessement to prevent my claim. Mainly certain documents that were the difference in winning claim went missing or were lost or not sent on. Funny that. Imagine pleading your case with a work coach  in the future under new rules. Unless you have a few months to live your being going back to work. Probably some night shift at a factory miles away.
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      Michael · 11 months ago
      @Wo What you are describing is Fraud by Concealment (aka Fraud by Failure to Disclose Information). Whoever was responsible for suppressing the documents you mention in order to deny you benefit or delay it at the very least. If civil servants were involved, it may also be Misconduct in Public Office as well as Fraud. These two offences carry maximum custodial sentences of 10 years and Life, respectively. It is time for the people of the UK to stand up, rise up and demand that those responsible are dismissed and benefit which should have been paid but has not be due to fraud or delaying tactics by DWP is paid with backpay. Also, no job coach should be permitted to decide anything unless they are qualified Occupational Health Practitioners and have carried out risk assessments on claimants who are long-term sick or disabled. It is a criminal offence, punishable by a fine, imprisonment or both, not to ensure the health and safety of those persons not in an employer's employment, namely, the public.
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    Scott · 11 months ago
    I don’t give two hoots about what the bully boy Iain Duncan Smith, The Telegraph, Jeremy Vine think about the sick and disabled, it’s vitriol spin on an issue they hope gets peoples backs up and frothing at the mouth, and banging on a table with their fists clenched, which most will forget about within a few minutes, how they make the issue of immigration and benefit claimants is beyond me, but seems like clutching at straws to me, trying to persuade a bigger change in government policy, have any of them seen what Mr Stride has planned for the sick and disabled? You’d think Iain Duncan Smith and Jeremy Vine would be doing the Can Can naked down Oxford Street celebrating!
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    Carole L · 11 months ago
    How I agree with the previous comment. I have a brain injured son through illness     who has been like that since 2 years old. He doesn't always remember what day of the week it is, can't travel independently, forgets to eat etc ,etc. He is helped and supported by a carer arranged by  the council. Is he going to be deemed capable of work? There must be many people in the same situation. It is hard enough getting suitable carers who understand the disabled.  Problem is he looks and sounds OK as many disabled do. Who gives the media the right to judge  or indeed unqualified work coaches
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    Aw · 11 months ago
    Someone somewhere did a survey that discovered that out of all the people who unalived themselves, more of them were out of work than in work. Some 'genius' decided to conclude that meant that paid work is an effective mental health treatment. It'd be funny if it weren't so lethal.
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      Lozviz · 11 months ago
      @Aw Yep that is because people in work don't have job coaches pushing them to do what they are not capable of and having their lifeline removed because of it. Statistics are only useful where applied correctly as you say. It was some 'genius' during WW2 deciding to armour the planes where they could see they'd been getting hit - till another came along and said hang on a minute - it's the planes not coming back you need to look at!
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    clearwater · 11 months ago
    This is pretty normal LHF Low hanging fruit,  just as migrant crossing attracts attention/reaction/  so does claimant bashing.  Nearing elections (at some point) this tends to ramp up.

    Jeremy Vine is in the same league as Jeremy Kyle. 
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    Rosie · 11 months ago
    The media are quick to report any incident of a fraudulent benefit claimant, giving people the impression that there are thousands of claimants "playing the system" who are just too lazy to work. If only they were equally as good at highlighting the  genuine claimants who have been put through the mill by the system, lost benefits that they were legally entitled to, evicted due to assessment errors, etc., etc.  No-one in the media has suggested that Rob Burrow, the former rugby player with advanced motor neurone disease, is "fit for work" but I bet there are many people out there with similar debilitating incurable conditions who have had their benefits cut, or (at the least) had to suffer the humiliation of convincing a complete stranger that they cannot work; it certainly didn't do MY mental health any good having to list all the things that I just can't do anymore.  Linking the Support Group claimants with the so-called "illegal immigrants" is an immoral and deceitful way of creating another group of scapegoats that can be dragged into the "debate".   
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Valerie bradley · 11 months ago
      @Harry This is what happened  in Germany just before the second World War.
      Proper gander,by put out the nazis stated that the cost of the disabled,was astronomical,and most of the disabled were put to death in gas vans,that collected them from homes for the disabled.
      After the British saw what the German government were doing in the death camps,you would not believe the same attacks are still on going in the UK today.
      It's time to get together enough signatures to have DWP to face a select committee. 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      jairaj · 11 months ago
      @Harry
      Bick, 

      We should use our votes at the General Election.At least this Tories goverment can not take this 
       away.The sonner we kicked this goverment out and replace by one which is will looked after us the better.Don't be con when the general election is announced,as the present goverment will promise all sort of Goodies for us I was a nurse ,I had to give it up it after  I develop fibromyliga after an accident,Since then I have had four heart attacks, three heart operationsBut I am still here at seventy three years old.I will continue to support the workandbenefits and fight what we are entitled.Don't be afraid to ask  your M.P what  she or he has done to help you regarding your entitlement for your. benefits
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      meowcat · 11 months ago
      @Harry new deal was a massive failure i was on it before i understood i could claim incapacity benefit, and let me tell you this all i did for 8 hours a day was ring job places and fill in cv's thats it for 8 WEEKS! no wonder the scheme shut down it was a waste of money and a waste of time for those who was using it.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Harry · 11 months ago
      @Rosie Very well put Rosie sadly this continuous targeting of the long term sick who cannot work  has been going since ;if not before, Labour's New Deal for Disabled document in 1997.
      The Tories,extremely grateful to Labour, capitalised on this to make all disabled people on benefits lives a torturous misery which is continuing to this day.

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