Thursday, April 18, 2013

Welfare Reform: ‘The Hidden Agenda’ by Mo Stewart

Published by Leeds University Department of Disability Studies
Published by Leeds University Centre for Disability Studies


By Mo Stewart

The Work Capability Assessment (WCA) is exclusively conducted on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) by the corporate giant Atos Origin IT Ltd Medical Services, better known as Atos Healthcare.
This ‘non-medical assessment’ was introduced in 2008 by the Labour government, and was identified as a ‘medical examination’ to be used to identify genuine claimants for long term sickness and disability benefit. However, what was unknown at the time was the fact that the WCA was a continuation of the planned agenda of the previous Thatcher government, whose ultimate goal was the destruction of the Welfare State.(1)
The WCA was promoted as a ‘fitness for work’ assessment for claimants of what was once known as Incapacity Benefit, now re-named as the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

In reality, in order to reduce the welfare budget, the WCA was designed to resist as many sickness benefit claims as possible regardless of confirmed and identified permanent illness or disability. By 2010 the planned DWP welfare budget reduction was deemed to be too slow. The new Coalition Government enhanced the WCA and, following the previous Labour Government’s lead, it became much more difficult to qualify for the ESA(2) as the WCA totally disregarded diagnosis, prognosis or limited life expectancy.
Aided and abetted by the national press, using insidious press headlines to manipulate public opinion(3)(3b), the Coalition Government successfully introduced tyranny, fear and despair to the nation’s most vulnerable people, using a disability assessment model as designed in consultation with Unum [Provident] Insurance; one of the most discredited corporate insurance giants in the world.(4)(4b) At the same time, reported disability hate crimes in the United Kingdom(UK) were rising to record levels.(5)
Please continue reading the full summary at the University of Leeds Centre for Disability Studies :