Iain Duncan Smith and getting people to work

Iain Duncan Smith and getting people to work

The superficial hue and cry from the headline grabbing hungry press and radical disability activists are condemning Iain Duncan Smith’s changes to sickness benefits.

Ian Duncan Smith twitter abuse 2Ian Duncan Smith twitter abuse 1

However, the core principles at the heart of the proposal have synergy with appa’s own principles;

  • Give people the right support and they can turn a corner in their own lives
  • To shift perspectives on the general stigmas of disability for people and employers who shy away from recruiting disabled and deaf workforce’s

The realistic concerns are:

  1. Comparisons of Budgets. Money spent in the UK is ONLY being compared against sickness and disability spending in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).  This data also lists states such as Mexico, Chile, Greece, South Korea and Turkey i.e. low spending, NON-WELFARE state countries.
  2. Mental Health. It has been admitted that MH at this stage hasn’t been considered – again MH being left to last. Are the people making the decisions in this process unclear of the potentially life threatening impact their proposed changes will have on the mentally ill?
  3. Quality Spending. The right support isn’t cheap. Does providing this support have a chance when the overall goal is to reduce budgets? Or will this support in itself prove to be another failed government program to ‘help’ sick and disabled people?
  4. Client Centered Assessment. Who and how will “vulnerable claimants” be selected for protection? Are health care experts responsible or Whitehall mandarins?

The AIM – We want to help people back into work. What is more fundamental to life than to contribute something? Work is directly or indirectly the path to this. Work is the path to being valuable and appreciated, not a pitiful burden. Work is the path to enjoying life. Work is what makes free time special. Even after the toughest day, you relish the victory. When your days-off come you share them with friends, hit the shops, and finish the shed. You share the essence of connection that fulfillment brings. That’s why most people come to the UK; yes they come for the welfare state, excellent health care, good housing and education with potential to mould careers. In doing so the vast majority build a meaningful working life, to make a difference a contribution. They come to change their lives and others.

At appa, we lead the way in support. We know from experience that our clients prefer working. Even those who can only work 6 hours a week prefer working. They do what they can and contribute to society. But pushing Long-Term sick and disabled into work without substantial initial support and guidance can be potentially life threatening. Stress and fear alone can literally kill them.

Mr Smith proposes to start a ‘conversation’. This demonstrates an astounding lack of awareness to the debates, forums and campaigns surrounding this issue. These resources are a goldmine of data, providing free crowd sourced analysis of current systems and illuminating key strategies that actually work – yes it’s that simple!

1945 Soldiers Working the Land

A final thought Mr Smith; when the welfare state was designed, the point was to support those injured from war into jobs they could do. So are we going to come full circle, back to the main points of the welfare state? I hope so. More workers, entrepreneurs, earners and spenders are what our current economic climate is crying for. We have the history, the culture of the welfare state and with the added advantage of technology……

And Labour you’re not much better – you want to have more assessments on the old assessments. Is that financially viable? Or, should we take the data we have and come up with outstanding solutions that really work? ….. COME ON people, stop trying to rally for popularity, school days are long gone for most people in politics. Really, leave the playground banter at home and think, what is going to work? Solutions for those who need them and need them now.



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