Socialist Worker

Labour’s vicious budget attacks on sick

by Carole Vincent
Issue No. 2093

Alistair Darling’s budget included a huge attack on sick and disabled workers.

His plans to force 2.6 million people in receipt of incapacity benefit to attend work capability assessments is both cruel and unrealistic.

My son is on incapacity benefit. Contrary to popular myths, disability benefits are not easy to claim.

You have to fill in a long and detailed form that asks personal questions and is often hard to follow. Many people give up and never claim the benefits they are entitled to.

The system of testing is especially difficult for people with variable conditions – such as motor neurone disease, mental health problems or multiple sclerosis. They may be well one day but unable to do anything on another day.

Darling is a hypocrite. He says he wants more people to work – but the government is closing 28 Remploy factories for disabled workers.

Labour has also announced hundreds of job losses and office closures in the Department for Work and Pensions. This will hit face to face services for many benefit claimants. Those with disabilities will be the worst hit.

Labour wants to scapegoat claimants and drive people off benefits and into low wage jobs.

We must make a stand to say that this is unacceptable and to defend benefits for sick and disabled people.

Carole is standing on Respect’s Left List for the London Assembly

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Article information

Tue 18 Mar 2008, 19:07 GMT
Issue No. 2093
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