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Reforms of incapacity benefit are seen as attack on the disabled, report says

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d4786 (Published 26 July 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d4786
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

The government’s reforms of incapacity benefit are widely seen as an attack on the disabled and a means of saving money rather than an attempt to help people back into work, a commons committee has concluded.

It blames the media for describing recipients as “workshy” or “scroungers” but also warns the government to take care with the language it uses so as not to lend support to the belief. It accepts that the government’s aim is the praiseworthy one of helping people back into employment, but says this has not been properly communicated, leading to fear and anxiety among vulnerable people.

Claimants who are assessed and found fully capable of work are told they have “failed” the assessment, the report …

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