The latest Impact Assessment on disability benefit changes, which was sneaked out under cover of the elections, makes the bold claim that slashing disability benefits is good for the health of disabled people.
Around a fifth of disabled people are set to lose vital benefits when Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is replaced with the Personal Independence Payment as early as next year. This is all just fine though according to the DWP. The latest document, which is an update of the Impact Assessment published last year, states that:
“Income and health are related, with those on low incomes having higher rates of disease, ill health and mortality than those on high incomes. However, evidence is limited as to whether a change in income has an effect on health.”
When the first version of the Impact Assessment was published this claim was sourced to this study (PDF) which actually says that changes to income have at most a small impact on health, in the short term, based on some people in New Zealand. It poses the question of whether lower income leads to poor health or whether poor health in fact leads to lower income. Once again the DWP is distorting research to suit their own agenda.
This reference has disappeared from the latest version of the Impact Assessment. In true DWP style, last year’s impact assessment appears to have been ‘disappeared’ with the latest update replacing it on the exact same web address: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/dla-reform-wr2011-ia.pdf
The DWP recently rewrote a document on workfare in a crude attempt to cover up for Chris Grayling’s lies. This time round it looks more like cock up than conspiracy. The DWP don’t seem to be very good with computers. Thank fuck they’re not about to be placed in charge of the most complex and largest Government IT database ever designed in human history.
The latest version of the impact assessment carries on with the theme of life-saving benefit cuts claiming: “It is possible that the policy could have positive impacts on health if it leads to more disabled people moving into work.”
There is no evidence that cutting DLA, available to people in and out of work alike, will mean more disabled people enter the workforce. The opposite is almost certainly true. In a recent survey 56% of disabled people in work said they would have to stop or reduce work if they lost DLA (PDF).
Once again the DWP are making ludicrous claims without any evidence to back them up. This is increasingly typical of the bullshitting bastards in charge of the department, such as compulsive liar Chris Grayling and his delusional puppet master Iain Duncan Smith.
The Government can’t win the argument on Welfare Reform and are resorting to ever more deceptions, exaggerations and cover ups instead. It is clearly just fucking bullshit that stripping a benefit aimed at helping working disabled people pay for the costs of their disability will help them find work. Just as it is bullshit that any sick or disabled people are likely to find work through the collapsing Work Programme. It is equally bullshit that young people are helped into work by workfare schemes, or that fraudulent training providers like A4e are doing anything more than ripping off the tax payer. The DWP and the truth have long since departed. Their flimsy attempts at justifying savage policies, already driving people to suicide, are little more than pathetic.
The Department of Work and Pensions is no longer fit for purpose, unless that purpose is solely the destruction of people’s lives in revenge for them being disabled or unemployed. It is little wonder so many people suspect this to be the case.