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Do disability benefits need reviewing?

11:18 UK time, Saturday, 8 January 2011

Plans to cut disability benefits could breach human rights laws, the government has been warned. Do you agree?

Ministers want to streamline the system and make cuts of 20% by replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) with a new Personal Independence Payment.

Disability lawyer Mike Charles told the BBC the moves could be unlawful if they denied individuals the right to quality of life.

Do you currently claim DLA? What impact would these changes make? What tests can be done to differentiate between genuine claimants and fraudulent claims?

Disability benefit cuts: Your stories

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 7

  • Comment number 1.

    The art of government is to make two-thirds of a nation pay all it possibly can pay for the benefit of the other third.

  • Comment number 2.

    I'm no lawyer and I don't pretend to understand all about human rights legislation but as these are only suggestions for change and that the government are asking for views on them by the middle of February there is every chance they will be changed. As I understand the proposals they are not saying they will not meet their obligations in respect of the law, just that they will change the way they do it. Yes, the way assessments are made will change and it's quite possible some people will find they are no longer entitled to some benefits - but how often in HYS debates do we hear that people are getting benefits under false pretences?

    I'll wait until we see the outcome of the consultation period before I form an opinion.

  • Comment number 3.

    As someone with several disabilities and health problems ironically aggravated by bullying and harrassment whilst employed by DWP ( for over 30 years) , I am now totally reliant on disability related benefits to supplement my private pension in order to survive , let alone anything else.

    I am delighted to hear at long last, that a prominent someone has illustrated the fact that Human Rights apply to the non immigrant, financially and socially struggling, disabled , single male and female element of British society.

    I have tried to use the abuse of my Human Rights for many years when harrassed by DWP to work, go to work, attend medicals, stopping my benefits and so on, but was always told that my human rights did not " apply in this case??".

    I will do everything that I can to ensure that not only is Mr Cameron and his "team" made accountable not just for breaching human rights, but for blantant discrimination against the disabled.

    Your cue Cherie Blair. Think of the mega bucks you would get from these cases.

  • Comment number 4.

    "Plans to cut disability benefits could breach human rights laws, the government has been warned. Do you agree?"

    Quick likely I'd say. Depends on how this is being gone about. Given what I've learnt on how this govt is introducing the new ESA benefit and how they want to move as many disabled onto job seekers, I'd say yes. It does breach human rights. When you're targeting a vulnerable minority in order to correct the mistakes of a bunch of self serving bankers.... yes, definitely goes against decency.

  • Comment number 5.

    What abour my human rights as a person who has worked and paid taxes all my life? Yes, a review would be welcome...and then close monitoring thereafter...and not just taking what people say as read....

  • Comment number 6.

    Do disability benefits need reviewing?

    yes they do
    the whole system needs overhauling

  • Comment number 7.

    I completely agree with this lawyer, and the government should be held accountable if they do breach any human rights laws.

    As for "fraudulent claims", the DWP's figures suggest the vast majority of claims are genuine. Naturally there should be some kind of test, but the problem is tiny compared to the effects of tax evasion in this country.

  • Comment number 8.

    Right so here is the "real" question let us get it out the way nice and early.

    Do we pay for disabled people if they cannot work. The cannot part would cover not just a level of disability but also if there are NO jobs, or that part of the life of someone who is disabled is that employers are less likely to employ the?

    If we do not want to pay for them do we let them die, or do we do what?

  • Comment number 9.

    1. At 11:35am on 08 Jan 2011, Magi Tatcher wrote:
    The art of government is to make two-thirds of a nation pay all it possibly can pay for the benefit of the other third.

    *****

    Yes, we're all paying for the rich!

  • Comment number 10.

    Yes

    Those that need it should get more.

    The false claimants should be prosecuted they hide behind our support for the real disabled.

    Just look at the disabled parking bays and the sprightly badge holders.

  • Comment number 11.

    The dwp would not have to make cuts if the benefit fraud team pulled there finger out and done some work. Then the people who are ill would not lose out. If the bbc want to follow a benefit cheat about fill free to contact me as I know of one in my street that has not worked for 15 years he plays snooker,goes fishing,metal detecting can bend and lift fine and he is ment to have a bad back.

  • Comment number 12.

    4. At 11:41am on 08 Jan 2011, JustinRUK wrote:

    "Plans to cut disability benefits could breach human rights laws, the government has been warned. Do you agree?"

    Quick likely I'd say. Depends on how this is being gone about. Given what I've learnt on how this govt is introducing the new ESA benefit and how they want to move as many disabled onto job seekers, I'd say yes. It does breach human rights. When you're targeting a vulnerable minority in order to correct the mistakes of a bunch of self serving bankers.... yes, definitely goes against decency.
    ---------
    this government did not introduce ESA it was the last labour government and the last government is responsible for most of the changes that are happening now in the welfare system.
    they were put in place over 3 years ago and are only just coming into effect

  • Comment number 13.

    I wonder what the real motivation is for changingexisting disability benefits. If it is to simplify the system and to ensure than only those with genuine disabilities are provided for then I am sure disabled individuals and their representatives would embrace any change. However there is a big emphasis on making savings of around 20%, which suggests that the proposed changes are not there to benefit those individuals that are disabled but are instead ideologically driven. One then has to question the moral and ethical integrity of those pushing for these changes and wonder whether or not the UK can still be considered a civilised society based on fairness, justice and equality.

  • Comment number 14.

    Disability payments are the sign of a civilised society but equally their abuse is the sign of a corrupt element in society which needs rooting out with tough fines and, in extreme cases, a jail sentence. The amounts paid to the disabled must be adequate to maintain a decent lifestyle plus care where necessary and the amounts and levels must be independently assessed by medical and social care officials. This should be free from political influence but audited just like M.P's expenses.

  • Comment number 15.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 16.

    5. At 11:42am on 08 Jan 2011, Lionwillow70 wrote:
    What abour my human rights as a person who has worked and paid taxes all my life? Yes, a review would be welcome...and then close monitoring thereafter...and not just taking what people say as read....

    *****

    The cases you see on TV of people abusing the system are the tiny tiny minority. There are already tests, but no test will be 100% effective.

  • Comment number 17.

    Truth is this young government like the vast majority of those under40 have absoulutly no concept of disability.They see it as a weekness which they do not want aknowledge. Because there has been some high profile minority cases of fraudelant claims.It is assumed that the vast majority of disabled are some how living in luxery for some trivial like a back ache.This couldn't be further from the truth.The majority of claiments suffer more pain and hardship along with humiliation and rejection than anyone who is not disabled can imagine.The truth is these cuts are not about saving money they are about prejudice, if this prejudice was about religeon or race then these cuts would not even be muted let alone be tried to enforce.So no these benifits should not be touched.If they want to stop abuse then there is an easy way.Most abusers have been on long term unemployment benifit prior to claiming and have had pressure put on them to get a job.Or are recent incommers to this country.But and this is a big but the abuse dispite what people think ammounts to very little money compared to the cost of other fraudelant claims.Though not justifying them.Fraude is fraude.

  • Comment number 18.

    I have worked and paid taxes for 30 years, I also have two disabled children who recieve DLA, as a family we need that DLA money to give the children any sort of normal (whatever normal is ) life. If you buy anything for children with special needs ranging from a nappie, to a bike, these items are at least 4 to 5 times the normal price. An example would be a sensory bubble tube from Argos costs approx £35 pounds, a specific sensory one that a child with special needs cannot break is approx £900.
    So from our point of view any reduction in DLA allowance would be a terrible thing. I am sure there are lots of other ways this Government can save money, without taking it off the most vunerable in society.

  • Comment number 19.

    An average of over 50,000 people a month are applying for ESA. Of these, around 20,000 close their claim before being medically assessed, many because they had a short-term condition which has now improved.

    Of those who complete the assessment, an average of 9% per month are placed in the support group whilst 23% go into the work-related activity group. Around 68% of all those who are assessed are found to be capable of work.

    http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/news/latest-news/1213-latest-esa-figures--long-delays-and-high-failure-rates

  • Comment number 20.

    Disability lawyer Mike Charles told the BBC the moves could be unlawful if they denied individuals the right to quality of life.

    Errrrrrrrrr...what about the "rights" of those who pay for this lot? I have no objection to paying taxes to assist with those who are disabled etc & NEED help - what makes my blood boil is paying for the feckless idle, who breed like rabbits, have NO intention of working & just stick their hands out & EXPECT large heaps of other people's taxes to be handed to them!!!!

    If such people persist in that mentality - then by all means put them into labour gangs & MAKE them work - perhaps the feckless idle in Westminster ought to give consideration to the "rights" of those who get stitched up for taxes!!!!!

  • Comment number 21.

    If someone serving time for a criminal offence can argue about human rights when they get told to go out and do Community Payback work then I'm sure as hell someone like me who, incidentally, has a criminal record that wouldn't fill a postage stamp and a blemish free CRB check, and can't do more than a 30 hour week due to mental health problems, can do likewise.

    Besides, the average wage on offer in my region makes it almost impossible to afford to travel more than a few miles to work by public transport and be better off than being on benefits.

  • Comment number 22.

    Yes, and anyone quoting Human Rights has no argument against this, but expect the minority to keeping forking out for the scroungers residing in this country. Has anyone considered our Human Rights?

  • Comment number 23.

    What a load of tosh, how can disability benefit cuts break human rights law. We already have higher benefit allowances relative to our nation's wealth than most of the rest of the world, so this would mean most of the rest of the world is also in breach of this particular human rights law. As this law was created by the international community it seems unlikely they ever intended that the law mean they are all in breach of it.

    It's precisely this abuse of human rights law to defend the undefendable that makes a mockery of human rights law, and harms those that really are in need of strong human rights protections.

    The fact is, even a 20% raw cut on DLA even if it wasn't targetted would still leave disabled people in the UK far better off than in the vast majority of the rest of the world, and as the cuts have decreased everyone elses standard of living it's wrong to believe they should be immune from a decrease also.

    As someone who worked in public sector for 7 years though, and having seen public sector waste first hand, I'd imagine that 20% cuts are easily achievable without actually causing any detriment to those truly in need in the first place if done properly. Public sector in general is so utterly inefficient that finding 20% savings should be a piece of cake.

    I feel for the difficulties disabled people face, really, I do, but if they want to really be treated as equal members of society which is what they claim they do then that means taking the bad side of equal treatment as well as the good- that means taking cuts when the rest of us do as well as enjoying the vast increases in support for disabled folk we've had during the boom years including things such as legislation to specifically ensure all businesses are, by law, wheelchair friendly which was not a cheap exercise.

  • Comment number 24.

    Based on my own experience the current system is flawed. The application forms don't cater for my condition nor do the majority of questions asked at reviews. Asking me if I can turn a tap on has no bearing on my condition whatsoever yet its part of the claim form that has to be answered.
    I have, prior to 2000 worked all my life, always been active in both work and leisure pursuits. I did both paid and voluntary work. I now suffer with Non-Operable heart disease, I struggle on a daily basis, I don't need added stress and hassle. My days vary from bad, very bad to just plain awful. I do battle with others who don't understand the condition I have. There's an attitude of ""you've 2 arms, 2 legs"" what's your problem? Not all disabilities are plain to see by others. Regardless of whether its govt depts, friends, family or other 'official bodies' the added stress of dealing with day to day issues just adds to my condition and makes it worse. Not being able to do things that I once took for granted is frustrating. I've always seen benefits, at any level, as being a privilidge not a right and I appreciate what I get. Getting there is a minefield and the whole system will benefit from being simplified, of that there is no doubt. I would caution against going overboard and making this just another cost cutting exercise rather than dealing with the real needs of real people. Peoples medical conditions don't disappear overnight just because the countries in a mess financially and its always to easy to target those less well able to defend themselves. I'm more than happy to see sensible reform of the welfare system, certainly targeting help to those most in need. Those who have had a 'free ride' with backache, or mild depression for example should be well targeted. I don't think those with drink or illegal drug use should be on benefits, for me, they're not medical conditions, they're self-inflicted conditions that should get appropriate treatment to get them off the drink/drugs and back working. I worked hard for over 26years prior to my heart problems. When I first claimed for help I was appalled and shocked to see and hear what others were claiming for. Reform, yes, definitely. Help those who are genuinely in need,to use a paraphrase, its time to sort the wheat from the chaff. Any changes should take into account all the circumstances of the claimant with regard to the individuals right to be treated equally and fairly and it shouldn't just be a cost cutting exercise.

  • Comment number 25.

    There is a couple who live near me both on disability benefits , the man who has never worked a day in his life (he is 39) and his wife who is 50 and has ms and has not worked for over twenty years although she is ok to go to the pub everynight both have bled the benefit system for every pound they can con out of it these are the people who should be hit not the genuine case

  • Comment number 26.

    DLA is actually not a benefit as such. It is an
    ALLOWANCE. It has always been UNDERCLAIMED, in other words those entitled to it, are often not claiming it, for a number of reasons. It is awarded according to need, it is not means tested and is rarely abused, as in falsely claimed as it is so hard to get it, even if you are eligible! The forms are a trauma in themselves, not something you would do lightly, it is very stressful and upsetting to have to fill them in.
    My son who has Aspergers, has received DLA for 2 yrs, it should have been around 8 yrs, but we didn't even know about it. For those years, when everyone else was living well, we lived in poverty, I couldn't work due to the nature of my son's disability, life was almost hell.
    DLA helps the person with the disablity, and the people living and/or caring for that person. I can't see how a person, who needs help to live as well as possible like everyone else, can suddenly go to being responsible for their own care, and independant, ie; PIP. Can anyone imagine a child who can't speak, or hear or see, having a PIP? The adgenda is clearly to take away the rights and opportunities of the disabled person. DLA is an allowance, it ALLOWS the person to live a better life, and that is what helps them be independant, with help, if at all possible. Another attack on the vulnerable by the con-dems.
    Shame on them.

  • Comment number 27.

    Yes they certainly do.

    A lot more needs to be done to sort out the bogus claiments from the real claiments.

    I know a family that used the system to the extent that they are now ill because of sitting on their backside watching sky telly for the last 20 odd years, also I have seen disabled people go to work who look far worse off than the afore mentioned.

    A complete overhall is required, the present system is not fit for purpose.

  • Comment number 28.

    I hear frightening stories all the time from friends and relatives of people who are abusing the current Disability Benefit system. I only wish I had their details to report them, or that friends and family would report them.

    The current system is too soft and too open to abuse. Ok this is politics and everything has to be taken with a pinch of salt, but I really do believe that the real intention here is too make sure those who need help are getting it (and as much as possible) and those that don't aren't.

  • Comment number 29.

    Yet again we have an anti coalition story from the BBC.
    Why no "your comment blog" on David Chaytor.
    Biased BBC yet again.

  • Comment number 30.

    The Department of Work and Pensions own statistics cite the overall fraud rate for Disability Living Allowance as being less than 0.5% (£60 million), compared to the 0.8% of official error the DWP themselves admit to making. So, according to the official figures, less than 0.5% of those claiming DLA are considered to be fraudulent.

    Fraud and Error in the Benefit System: October 2008 to September 2009

  • Comment number 31.

    I'm no lawyer and I don't pretend to understand all about human rights legislation but as these are only suggestions for change and that the government are asking for views on them by the middle of February there is every chance they will be changed. As I understand the proposals they are not saying they will not meet their obligations in respect of the law, just that they will change the way they do it. Yes, the way assessments are made will change and it's quite possible some people will find they are no longer entitled to some benefits - but how often in HYS debates do we hear that people are getting benefits under false pretences?

    I'll wait until we see the outcome of the consultation period before I form an opinion.


    ----------------
    The problem with this government (well one of many actually) is that it has taken on a policy of announcing cuts and changes while not actually giving sufficient thought about the consequences of their actions or how the proposals are to be implemented or indeed what if anything will be put in place instead.

    This is particularly true of the NHS scrapping of SHA's and its replacement with non existent GP consortia, the removal of non government organisations with the avowed intent of reducing expenditure and improving provision to actually achieve no reduced expenditure and demolition of provision, removal of the mobility element of disability benefit stranding people at home or in residential homes to the severe detriment of their lives and employment prospects. Making poor universities pay for poor students while Oxford and Cambridge become the exclusive domain of public school toffs, purporting to regulate the banks and the obscene bonus culture then allowing the banks to hand over £7 billion (in many cases our money) to bankers who have already voted themselves 20-40% pay rises.

    Freezing pay in the public sector (cutting substantially in real terms) while increasing regressive taxes such as VAT and still increasing NIC employee contributions and then hoping that people will go out and spend more!

    The list of uncoordinated,ill conceived and ill planned back of fag packet policies goes on and on.

    This inability has even been appreciated by some of the Tories own back benches.
    I quote "in its report Shrinking the Quango State, the cross-party (Tory Chaired)Commons public administration select committee said the tests used to judge the quangos were "hopelessly unclear".

    "The current approach is not going to deliver significant cost savings or result in greater accountability," the report found.

    "There was no meaningful consultation, the tests the review used were not clearly defined and the Cabinet Office failed to establish a proper procedure."

    Its chairman, Mr Jenkin, said the whole process had been "rushed and poorly handled", adding: "This was a fantastic opportunity to help build the Big Society and save money at the same time, but it has been botched."

    About sums this government up a total ****s up!

  • Comment number 32.

    Lets review disability benefits and at the same time plug the loop-holes that allow billions of pounds to be taken out of this country and avoid tax.
    Lets review the 'bonus' culture that pays out billions to those who brought this country to it's knees.
    Lets review how the MP's of all parties were allowed to pay back their fraudulent expenses claims without being charged with fraud.
    Lets review the subsidised bars in the Palace of Westminster.
    And lets review how election promises and pledges can be ignored when those who made them gain office.
    We are all in this together Dave...so lets get on with the 'reviewing' in a very much broader context.

  • Comment number 33.

    Oh, and I meant to mention 'BMT-The Pussycat of HooToo' your comments are spot on! I could not agree more with what you say. Thank you!

  • Comment number 34.

    7. At 11:44am on 08 Jan 2011, Newbunkle wrote:

    I completely agree with this lawyer, and the government should be held accountable if they do breach any human rights laws.

    As for "fraudulent claims", the DWP's figures suggest the vast majority of claims are genuine. Naturally there should be some kind of test, but the problem is tiny compared to the effects of tax evasion in this country.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I seem to remember a report issued some time ago that suggested that the fraction of people claiming who didn't actually need to was something in the order of 40%.

    Not that I'm contradicting you when you say "the vast majority of claims are genuine", but remember it is the system that tests the claimants that determines the difference between a genuine claim or otherwise, and from what I understand, the biggest criticism of the system is that its assessment method is hopelessly flawed.

    To be honest, I don't object to a disability benefits system at all, and am perfectly happy for some of my taxes to be used to look after people who cannot work and fend for themselves, but I object to paying for someone who simply chooses not to work and makes use of an overly generous system.

    I have to go out and work, I don't see why anyone else should not have to if they are able to.

  • Comment number 35.

    DLA is not only paid to those with physical disabilities but those with mental disabilities such as Autism. Mentally disabled people have far more trouble finding work as employers don't like to take on those with mental issues.

    Any reduction in DLA payment will mean a reduction in living standards for those who claim it. I agree the system needs to be more rigorous in weeding out the people who don't need it but don't take money from those who need it most.

  • Comment number 36.

    The consultation asks the question if these proposals are good proposals. That includes asking the question, "do these proposals breach Human Rights?" which would be helped by the have your say section actually linking to the Parliamentary Committee considering the evidence.

    The truth is that Disability in the DWP puts claimants into a position where they are bullied. Part of this bullying is constantly changing the goalposts. Such as private company medicals which advise rejection of entitlement. Their reason is that the software can not fill in the form with appropriate text - although a pen could. That kind of "streamlining" is never considered. It would result in a net saving from the public purse but might hand out too much money to claimants.

    Which is the really obvious theme underlying this. There is a huge element of punishment to benefits. People need to be punished and humiliated for being claimants - right across the board, for all benefits. This is most obvious with disability. Where people can make comments like "doesn't matter what disability you have it seems you can still manage a knee jerk". (see post #15)

    The whole benefits system criminalises claimants for no other reason than they claim from the public purse. This becomes especially true with the disabled - who are no longer allowed to talk about disability when claiming but must stress their capabilities. Which leads to the idiocy of profoundly deaf people being instructed to apply for Call Centre Jobs and being sanctioned for not doing so. Under Cameron's proposals, three sanctions would result in no benefits for three years.

    Every disability is different. This proposal is about shoehorning the diversity of disability into a single, easily manageable, cheap, sack of misery. In comparison to fraud rates in banking VAT or even tractor smuggling, the fraud rate of benefits is low. Given that fraud in VAT deprives the Exchequer of revenue, the reforming energy might be better directed elsewhere.

    Given that the Carers of the Disabled save the Exchequer £81Bn a year by providing care at below cost, the arguments about fraud that are being put up should be considered both ways. Are the Disabled being ripped off by the Government? Would you spend a decade looking after someone - thus losing a career - on less than minimum wage?

  • Comment number 37.

    "Plans to cut disability benefits could breach human rights laws, the government has been warned. Do you agree?"

    Yes of course, OK some cuts have to be done but why target the vulnerable when bankers are still getting huge bonuses? Didn't they put us in this mess in the first place?

    It's just the same old Tories getting a giant magnifying glass and saying "look here's the problem".

  • Comment number 38.

    Well said The Pussy Cat of Hoo Too @ no:24 12.01.11 12.07 pm. Thank you.

    For any of those slagging off us disabled - feel free to walk in my shoes for a month, then see how you feel.

    And as Pussy Cat said, many of us disabled ( I have two chronic life time disabilities. Ironically I was found to be incapable of all work by DWP and was subsequently medically retired which was a fair decision on their part after putting in all reasonable adjustments) have worked all out lives, but despite wanting to, our bodies and minds prevent us from doing so.

    I agree that the benefit changes must be made - I know - I worked there for over 30 years, but the Government needs to be be brave enough to cut out all the scroungers ( and there are a hell of a lot more than ever admitted to ) but not at the expense of those who are genuine, who have worked and supported others during their times of need, and who now , due to circumstances beyond their control are having to call upon the support of others.

  • Comment number 39.

    When my brother in law was registered disabled it was only after a lengthy period of examination and valuation. His consultant,pain control specialist, his GP and everyone who knew him were well aware of how sick he was but he was forced to meet yet another doctor to justify his case.
    This doctor gave him a cursory examination but then proceeded to write a detailed medical report citing the result of tests he had not made. Not many people have the foresight to ask for a copy of their medical assessment. To his horror there were, in all,over 100 lies told in that report and it took an appeal for these errors to be uncovered.

    He, by then, was at the end of his physical and mental resources but, thank goodness, the panel found in his favour. If this so called doctor is an example of how the disabled are treated then I wonder how on earth sick people will fare in this new shake-up.

    I ask myself what prompted this doctor to falsify his findings - what incentive could he have to play God with another man's life?

  • Comment number 40.

    There are over 2.5 million people in the UK who claim Disability Benefit ( a number which massively increased under Labour. Why ? So that they could claim they had reduced unemployment, that's why ).

    Am I seriously expected to believe 2.5 million people in the UK are not fit to work ?

  • Comment number 41.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 42.

    Due to my son’s profound disabilities, he has been awarded DLA for an indefinite period at the higher rate. This is because he will not get better – he will get progressively worse.

    As we are no longer able to care for him at home for more than a few hours a week, he is in full time residential care (which includes nursing care).
    He benefits from (and we know, he enjoys) trips home, or out with his family, which have to be undertaken in a vehicle capable of taking him and his equipment.
    His higher rate DLA funds that vehicle fully via the Motability scheme – we pay for the fuel.

    If his DLA were stopped, he has approximately £22 per week from all other benefits for clothing; toiletries; trips; entertainment; hairdressing and other non-provided essentials. This would not cover the cost of the transport currently provided via DLA, and he would effectively be restricted to his residential care home.

    Maria Miller has recently, on behalf of the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, answered many questions in the House that are directly related to this issue with a stock "Local authority contracts with care homes should cover services to meet all a resident's assessed needs, including any assessed mobility needs, so an individual's care support and mobility needs should be met by residential care providers from social care funding. This measure will remove an overlap of public funds while ensuring that resources continue to be targeted at disabled people with the greatest needs".
    In truth, whilst local authorities are faced with shrinking budgets and are trying to reduce their costs with care homes, this will never happen.
    Whilst existing care plans “should” cover such levels of service, invariably they don’t and most certainly won’t be amended to do so, unless of course, their budgets are to be increased to cater for mandatory case reviews to ensure that this need is incorporated for the estimated 60,000 people who will have this benefit withdrawn (equating to an estimated saving of £15m pa).
    Further, this suggested solution by the Secretary of State would remove the benefit holder’s ability to travel with their family in the same vehicle and their right to have quality time alone with their family.

    I implore everyone; even those who are not disabled and so do not receive DLA to petition government withdraw this proposal.

    Further, would everyone please remember that receipt of DLA is un-associated with the Blue Card (Disabled Drivers) scheme. There are many, many recipients / users of Blue Badges who do not receive DLA, and the abuse of that scheme and disabled parking bays should be commented upon elsewhere.

  • Comment number 43.

    Look Folks, Lord (Snooty)Cameron is going to need every penny available.....how else will his mates, the big coporate directors and the poor bankers get their 50% pay rises and bonuses!

  • Comment number 44.

    30. At 12:20pm on 08 Jan 2011, Magi Tatcher wrote:
    The Department of Work and Pensions own statistics cite the overall fraud rate for Disability Living Allowance as being less than 0.5% (£60 million), compared to the 0.8% of official error the DWP themselves admit to making. So, according to the official figures, less than 0.5% of those claiming DLA are considered to be fraudulent.
    ===================================================
    Yes, but if the eligibility criteria are too lax or thresholds set too low, then it's likely the fraud will be low.

  • Comment number 45.

    Benefits are something that "scroungers get" until one needs them ones self. Then it is a different matter.

  • Comment number 46.

    If you speak to people who are involved in the administration of disability benefits you will find that many believe it is not the benefits that need changing it is the way they are administered.

    The problem isn't with the level of benefits it is the abuse of the system by people who are claiming it spuriously.

    The benefits do what is required for those who are unable to work due to severe problems with mphysical and mental health.

    An example of the abuse of theses benefits is around everyone's corner.

    For example there is a retired ex LibDem councillor living locally who gets attendance allowance for himself and his retired wife.
    Both carry walking sticks yet both can stick their walking sticks under their arms and run across the road for a bus.They cannot climb steps but own a static caravan with access three feet off the floor.
    The local disability testing centre makes some of it's decisions by observing claimants as they approach the centre. It's amazing how much more disabled some claimants become when their in the room compared to when they get out of the car and rush across the road as they are late.

    To get the disability benefit system under control in this country we need more stringent psychological and physical testing of recipients.
    Those who are in need should carry on receiving benefits; those 'working the system' should be excluded.

  • Comment number 47.

    Yes they need reviewing.

    Some people have been and are claiming when they should not be, get cars they should not have and when they could even work etc. Others who need money don't even get it and some possibly even need more not less.

    Disability living allowance was not given to me when I was in a wheel chair and and on crutches following a major operation, I managed to also work for the majority of the time, for 3 years I caught taxis to and from work at my expense, I am also epileptic and suffered depression at the time. My now husband cared for me and also worked full time.
    I am now back to full health however extra money would have helped a lot and we would no longer be claiming it had we been given it, another issue is that people continue to claim when they shouldn't.

    A lot needs to be done but how do you stop people being lazy?????


  • Comment number 48.

    Let's not beat about the bush.

    I am under 65 and have had numerous health issues for years. I often cannot look after myself properly and have had some benefits for some years, yet now we are told all-too-often that huge cuts are on the horizon in benefit payments, ostensibly to pay for the millions that our bankers risked and lost. Let's also not get into the myth that everyone on benefit has arrived at it through the last government's slack approach to new benefit claimants, for it is up to the new government to sort out the apparent mess - something that is not easy but which they take good wages to sort out for the long term - yet they want to just cut the living standard of all claimants so that many will be on the streets. This is hardly good or rational governing.

    This is immoral.

  • Comment number 49.

    Disability benefit is given to too wide a range of people and the benefits available are too great. The welfare state entrenched by the last government encourages people to become permanantly detached from the workforce, because they tend to confer greater benefits than other forms of welfare (except single parenthood) and they are given in perpetuity.

    I recently returned from China and when I told Chinese people about our welfare system they just laughed. They simply couldn't believe our ridiculous our system was.

  • Comment number 50.

    Magi Tatcher wrote:
    The Department of Work and Pensions own statistics cite the overall fraud rate for Disability Living Allowance as being less than 0.5% (£60 million), compared to the 0.8% of official error the DWP themselves admit to making. So, according to the official figures, less than 0.5% of those claiming DLA are considered to be fraudulent.

    Fraud and Error in the Benefit System: October 2008 to September 2009

    These statistics cover the level of 'proven' fraud they do not cover those who are getting away with it. The number of people working in the 'black' economy remains ridiculously high in this country. All of these are avoiding paying tax and National Insurance as are their employers, costing all of us in Housing , Incapacity or Jobseekers Benefits.

  • Comment number 51.

    "Am I seriously expected to believe 2.5 million people in the UK are not fit to work ?"

    Don't forget that figure also includes parents also claim DLA for their disabled children, you expect those children to go out to work too?

  • Comment number 52.

    my wife is disabled and needs the benefit as she is unable to work and has problems that will never desist if benefits are overhauled can we expect mp exes to be reduced by the same percentage an mp can steal extra benefits the severley disabled cant

  • Comment number 53.

    I am sure that the government has no wish to deprive genuine claiments of benefits.

    However, we all know that there are thousands of peole claiming benefits that have little or nothing wrong with them.

    I would suggest that those who genuinely need help will still get it.

    As for breaching the Human Rights La, I would really like to see the list of these rights. It is, like everything else dreamed up by the EU, a total nonsense.


    Every time something happens, some ambulance chaser produces a right to cover a circumstance.

  • Comment number 54.


    The simple and correct solution to saving money here is to properly vet benefit recipients and regularly check their fitness to work.

    It seems there is a vast number who could work in some way.

    Cutting benefits below a living wage for those who genuinely deserve them is sending the message they don't deserve to exist.

  • Comment number 55.

    There's a difference between reviewing and making changes for the sake of more and more cuts.
    On the coalition's past performance this is another ad hoc change.

    This coalition has ConDemned 100,000's of people to live below what the government thinks is the minimum level of income required.

    It's the starting gun fired.
    Incendiary for the fire.

    [PS. The raison d'etre behind the coalition is that the Liberals (and Conservatives) will reap the reward for 'tough policies' at the end of the 5 year term.
    What happens if their arrogance and love of power has blinded them to what the electorate really think ??

    The ''tough policies'' which were the Conservative's ideas.
    The Liberals are not going to get the credit from their supporters and other voters for this.

    They must be mad.

    I reckon if they continue until 2015 they will lose voters in their droves.Which leaves them to ''whistle and dance the shimmy'' to get some kind of audience.#
    [wink.]

    This 'new politics'' (cough) makes Vince Cable even money for those autumn evenings of 2014.

  • Comment number 56.

    @ HaveIGotThatWrong - no~40 12.28

    Yes you are expected to believe that because the Government has told you that ( winks ) You are also told to believe any figures put out by Welfare/Benefit Ministers regarding the number of claimants, the reason they claim, the (appalling) cutomer service provided/ not provided, the claimants put " back into work", the disabled( not including those advised to claim as sick so they still get benefits), the claimants better off in work ( 16 hours or more??? ) , the number of appeals being made against all benefit decisions, the lenght of time it takes the benefit system to process thier clamis, the time it takes to answer phone calls and how many are not answer, the underage mums still on their parents claims, the kids in care and so on.

    Whist " believing " all this you may want to have a long and deep massage.

    Meanwhile, the Government ( and the public) would benefit from taking a couple of truth pills daily for 6 months . Under supervision of course.

  • Comment number 57.

    My brother in law gets benefits for his 3 kids, one of which is been diagnosed with ADHD ( for anyone over the age of 40 he is just a naughty kid!) This family get so much in benefits he has "savings". He took great delight in telling us he had spent £300 each on his kids for xmas. Me and my husband however both work and have a mortgage, xmas was really difficult and we could only afford to give my husbands 3 kids £20 each ! As for "savings" I think I may have £10 tucked away somewhere for a rainy day ! I dont mind anyone getting benefits if they are geniunly sick but this situation just makes my blood boil. Oh and I forgot to say he also gets a free taxi to and from school.

  • Comment number 58.

    How shameful! It seems the government isn't only targeting the poorest in society its sights are now on the disabled! Who next, do those mental patients really need all that expensive medication? Who knows maybe the government is right, perhaps those one legged people are hiding their other limb somewhere, I mean if anyone knows a thing or two about fiddling it's our honorable government!

  • Comment number 59.

    20. At 12:00pm on 08 Jan 2011, W Fletcher wrote:

    Disability lawyer Mike Charles told the BBC the moves could be unlawful if they denied individuals the right to quality of life.

    Errrrrrrrrr...what about the "rights" of those who pay for this lot? I have no objection to paying taxes to assist with those who are disabled etc & NEED help - what makes my blood boil is paying for the feckless idle, who breed like rabbits, have NO intention of working & just stick their hands out & EXPECT large heaps of other people's taxes to be handed to them!!!!

    If such people persist in that mentality - then by all means put them into labour gangs & MAKE them work - perhaps the feckless idle in Westminster ought to give consideration to the "rights" of those who get stitched up for taxes!!!!!
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The trouble with "fit" taxpayers like yourself are under the misconception that all these claimants have never worked or paid taxes, let me assure you the majority who receive disability payments of any sort have paid into the system for years only to find that now, suffering disability, they will have to jump through hoops to attain a benefit which is rightfully theirs.

    The problem with the DWP is that anyone can complain or make allegations against a legitimate claimant and that claimant will find their allowances stopped immediately until they attend medicals etc basically on the word of someone who simply might not like a person, after reassessment the benefit is reinstated but this can take months, during which time the claimant, usually from the underprivileged classes, is placed under extreme duress trying to live on zero.

    Not all disabilities are visible and not all claimants waste their benefits in public houses, or have a social life in any form. I do agree those long term jobless could work one day a week in the community for benefits, as that is about the rate of pay jobseekers provide, self inflicted disability allowances should be removed from druggies, alcoholics, the obese etc but those with serious complaints should be treated with respect and supported by the welfare state, not hounded as they are presently.

    The majority of working taxpayers are deluded into thinking those on jobseekers should be in labour gangs and made to work, yes, we have the skivers but the majority are trying to get work, there just aren't jobs out there which will pay a living wage, try upping the slave labour rates of minimum wage to £10 an hour and you'll find the jobs available get taken, that still leaves a true figure of 3 million give or take a few hundred thousands who will still be unable to find any work as it simply doesn't exist apart from in the head of I.D.S.

  • Comment number 60.

    telecasterdave wrote:
    Yet again we have an anti coalition story from the BBC.
    Why no "your comment blog" on David Chaytor.
    Biased BBC yet again.


    Perhaps Because David Chaytor has been tried and cinvicted for his crimes while most Benefit fraudsters (taking in to account the examples cited in other comments) appear to be getting away with it. Just like the majority of MP's from all parties were not considered for prosecution due to the 'not in the public interest' clause. Duck eggs anyone?

  • Comment number 61.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 62.

    The benefits system as a whole needs reform. Having dealt with an application for CT benefit and also Pension Credit, I can confirm that the forms for both are wide open to abuse and fraudulent claims. It is quite possibly the same for claiming other benefits.

    The genuinely disabled who genuinely cannot work should be given all the support they need as should their carers but I cannot believe that out of 2.5 million people currently registered there is a reasonable proportion that could.

    Labour encouraged the benefits culture and now the whole population is going to pay the price for that.

    I refuse to go anywhere near my local Post Office on a Monday are they are all there in a queue withdrawing hundreds of pounds. In the main these are able bodied people who have never done a day's work in their lives. Some have illegitmate children who obviously have free school meals. The mothers are smartly dressed as are the children.

    Having withdrawn their cash they then buy numerous Lottery scratch cards and mountains of junk food.



  • Comment number 63.

    As an Ex-Serviceman with an 80% disability pension I felt extremely angry when the previous Government used this means to keep down the unemployment figures. Benefit holders should be checked every six months. Disabled means being DISABLED.

  • Comment number 64.

    See the usual viscous, callous rabble have turned out about to rant on about benefits cheats. Of course they have no evidence for any of their unpleasantness just the usual obsession with the world trying to rob them of their cash.

    Truth is the current system is capable of dealing with fraudsters and re-reviewing claimants. By all means deal with fraud BUT this is really a smokescreen for cutting the overall cost of this benefit.

    This bunch of out-of-touch protectors of the rich and powerful have no depths to which they wont plummet. They are the lowest form of human life.

  • Comment number 65.

    Of course it needs reviewing! Any system where someone with a minor ailment/lifestyle choice is entitled to the same help as someone who is severely disabled is not right.

    Where i disagree with the government is that I believe we should do much more to help those who need help most, not give everyone less!

    Why should an alcholic/drug addict receive the same if not more benefits than a soldier maimed in Iraq or Afghanistan or someone born with a disability who would love to work, but because of a quirk of nature cannot?

    Just remember that job seekers allowance or whatever it is called this week is only paid for 6 months, after that nothing unless you find a gullible doctor and swap to employment support allowance. Give the chancers less and those who deserve it more, seems fairly simple to me.

  • Comment number 66.

    What the cry of "it will breach human rights" actually means is that we, the rest of the population, have to be told that there are somethings we are not allowed to question or even think about questioning. This is so fundamentally wrong that the people who cry human rights do not even realise that they are breaching my human rights.

    The govt is entirely correct to look very closely at disability benefits. Claims have increased massively over the years, some of this no doubt due to fraud but also some due to people correctly claiming when in the past they had not.

    We need to go back to first principles and ask what is the purpose of disability benefits and equally importantly remember that benefits do not always need to be in cash. Ask a disabled person, do they want a hand out or be provided with the means under which they can obtain a proper job, earning a decent wage and provide for themselves and I have no doubt that the vast majority will opt for the latter option.

    I do consider that in a modern civilised society we should be providing disability benefits but that is not the same as writing a blank cheque.

  • Comment number 67.

    People are so thick, they moan about paying tax and really believe that if the government did away with certain things that they would pay less! A quick look at any history book will reveal what tax is really about! Thick, totally. The main amount of money being spent by the government is paying off a failed capitalist ideology, which they then still maintain, and all the consequences that come along with that. Targeting a minority of vulnerable people is so typical of tyrannical leaders, they always need to be seen to be bullying, and followed by their entourage of stupid morons who wield the bat, pull the trigger and bury the corpses!
    Of course it’s against human rights, since when have people ever had a say, a voice, about how this so called society ought to be run? As for tax, get over it, so long as you believe that you need to be governed it will not change.

  • Comment number 68.

    My son is only 5 and he was diagnosed with autism just last year. We receive DLA for him and I dread losing it for him. I intend to use the money to learn to drive so I can finally car and avoid public transport and then use the money to cover the costs of running a car. Travelling with him can be problematic due to his temper, especially he can start suddenly over the smallest thing and having to get up and explain to coach load of people is not something I continually want to do. If I lose his DLA, it will be impossible for me to do this and we will have to continue suffering on long journeys. My son should hopefully not have to claim when he is an adult but right now we need it to help him and us to be able cope in our daily lives.

  • Comment number 69.

    Yes they need reform.

    The rights lawyer quoted in the story seems to be making claims that are not established i law - people do not have rights to benefits that give them equality with everyone else, they may have a right to a basic level of subsistence but that's it.

    And what the government are doing is to make sure that claimants are genuinely disabled in the face of ever-increasing claims which are obviously not all from genuinely needy people.

    I have a stepdaughter who receives DLA for cystic fibrosis and to be honest, I feel that the government are right that there is some form of work she could do based at home but it would probably need to be covered by someone else for times when she is ill. That doesn't happen often, but when it does it is serious and prolonged.

    Being with other people puts her health at risk, but she could certainly do tele sales or be an author etc. But the benefits are a form of honey trap and seem to engender a lazy mindset that she could do without.

  • Comment number 70.

    HaveIGotThatWrong wrote:
    There are over 2.5 million people in the UK who claim Disability Benefit ( a number which massively increased under Labour. Why ? So that they could claim they had reduced unemployment, that's why ).

    Am I seriously expected to believe 2.5 million people in the UK are not fit to work ?

    Your overall count is correct but you comments about the increase under Labour need verifying.

    When Employment Support Allowance was introduced , by Labour, the first test of incapacity came at the 8 week stage of a claim, far more stringent than under the Tories who were the biggest abusers of unemployment statistics in history. the headline figure under the Tories of 3.5 million was far lower than the economically inactive figure. Thatcher made millions unemployed from State run Industries and paid their pensions early. She then stopped them getting benefits by taking in to account the pensions to reduce or obliterate unemployment benefit rights under Occupation Pension rules. These actions placed massive obligations on pension funds with pension scheme members being paid full entitlements from age 50 and massaged the unemployment figures downwards.

  • Comment number 71.

    Cut most disability benefits. Most are faking it. Only when you have an obvious disability should you get any taxpayers money.

    And those who have so-called depression should stop feeling sorry for themselves, get up off their backsides and get a job. There is no such thing as depression. Everyone feels low sometimes, particularly those who have to work hard to put food on the table and pay for the spongers in our midst.

  • Comment number 72.

    The problem with anecdotes about individual benefit claimants is that they are just that, anecdotes. The details of someone's disability are quite rightly confidential, so any uninformed commenting is just that, uninformed commenting.

    I do believe based on experience that the large number of people on disability allowance is a reflection of the number of people unable to find work, typically men in their fifties and upwards. Due to illness and reduced capacity to work, they are unwanted in the employment market.

    I am not a benefit claimant, apart from state pension, which I believe I paid for.

  • Comment number 73.

    Once again, the wretched Human Rights Act stands in the way of common sense and the sooner this is repealed, the better it will be for the good of this country. Had we had a majority Conservative government last May then this act would have been consigned to the history books but because the Lib Dems opposed any changes, we are stuck with this for the foreseeable future.

    As for the overall review of Disability Living Allowance and for all the other benefits, this should happen regardless of the HRA and the coalition government should restrict what these HRA lawyers can and can not do. If the coalition government, particularly the Lib Dems want to talk about fairness then perhaps they should ask is it fair for the majority of the tax-paying public to subsidise those who are not not entitled to benefits. I can not see anything fair in that.

  • Comment number 74.

    Some comments on this site suggest that disability benefit fraud is low.

    So why do the vast majority of people not on disability benefit think that the system is abused?

    Could it be that the last government's interpretation of disability and the allowances available are considered by most ordinary people to be too wide and too generous.

    Taxpayers are being taken for mugs. Disability benefits need radically scaling back because to most people 3 million claimants is simply a joke.



  • Comment number 75.

    "43. At 12:35pm on 08 Jan 2011, Lord Wot Wot wrote:
    Look Folks, Lord (Snooty)Cameron is going to need every penny available.....how else will his mates, the big coporate directors and the poor bankers get their 50% pay rises and bonuses!"

    I think you'll find the huge banking bonuses were paid under Labour, so they were Brown's mates. Still, easy to forget when you have a selective memory.

  • Comment number 76.


    40. At 12:28pm on 08 Jan 2011, HaveIGotThatWrong wrote:
    There are over 2.5 million people in the UK who claim Disability Benefit ------am I seriously expected to believe 2.5 million people in the UK are not fit to work ?

    --------------------------------

    Disability benefit goes to many young people who are not old enough to work and also those too old to be employed. 2.5 million if correct is approx 3% of the population which doesn't seem unreasonable
    Many of the stories we read about scroungers are hearsay and tabloid talk. Printed for sensation. Many don't claim because the process is so complicated. It is easy enough to report any suspects and many cases are investigated every year. In any society there will always be cheats and dodgers, there are enough of them at the top end of the income scale.
    I and my family have been lucky and have never had to claim and so far have paid in far more than we have got back. This will be the case with most people. As it is with all insurance. The great thing about a State scheme is that there is no profit motive as there is with private insurance.
    The mark of a civilised society is that we support the needy without the humiliation of having to go begging to charity as they do in the US. The knowledge that there is help when required is very comforting. I am more than willing to help those who need it through my taxes and would prefer that taxes went up rather than make the life of any disabled person more difficult than it already is

  • Comment number 77.


    40. At 12:28pm on 08 Jan 2011, HaveIGotThatWrong wrote:
    There are over 2.5 million people in the UK who claim Disability Benefit ( a number which massively increased under Labour. Why ? So that they could claim they had reduced unemployment, that's why ).

    Am I seriously expected to believe 2.5 million people in the UK are not fit to work ?

    --------------------------------------------------------------

    Numbers increased under Labour because they left the barriers up at the border checkpoints and either forgot, or simply didn't want to, post any sentries.
    There is also a war on with huge numbers of troops being injured and they will never be able to work again. We'll probably see the figures rise again when the Army kicks out all those soldiers still on the payroll but deemed unfit for service due to their injuries.

  • Comment number 78.

    I am thoroughly disappointed with the BBC journalists. This news broke on 6th December 2010 by a Government press release. It was announced as a review. The public has been given a chance to feedback comments to the department until 14th February 2011.
    This is emotive, headline grabbing, twisted and factually incorrect. There are no guarantees that any changes will happen. Yet, today on BBC Breakfast the news piece focussed on clearly disabled individuals, who most UK citizens would be up in arms if they did lose any allowance - BUT that is not the case YET!
    I feel aggrieved and upset that your journalists are now stooping to the same depths as tabloids. It was unbalanced to present the news article in this style.
    Yes, tell the UK that DLA is under review. But your team have positioned it as a done deal. I feel that you do not appreciate the stress and worry this will have caused families and individuals alike who rely upon this allowance.
    I believed that you were more capable to achieve balanced and properly researched pieces. Clearly I have been mistaken.





  • Comment number 79.

    1) This sort of thing was done to Invalidity Benefit under the last government. This lot are presiding over just the same for DLA. It's all being done by the DWP - regardless of who's in power.

    2) The DWP doesn't think it "might" save 20%. They designed the tests so that 20% of the people who used to be disabled will find themselves labelled as not disabled any more. They worked out how many disabled people they think the country can afford, and then designed the tests to produce that number.

    3) The DWP is not "consulting" - it's letting everyone (including Parliament) get all their gripes off their chest. They will then do just what they meant to do all along.

    4) The people making the real decisions are a group of insurance industry insiders, and those in the DWP who are ex- or future colleagues of theirs. The tests they run are (a) nothing to do with medical issues, so they ignore doctors' reports and (b) run by half-trained personnel who make their own judgements as to what you have said, put it into a computer and tell someone who'd liable to have fits, because of his brain tumour that they should get a fulltime job.

  • Comment number 80.

    Those who genuinely need it should get it. Those who dont need it wont get it. It seems fairly straightforward to me. There are varying degrees of disbility and that should be reflected in the levels of benefit. Stop paying out to scroungers, chancers and malingerers and redirect that cash to those who genuinely need the support. What isnt fair about that? Those who are afraid of being re assessed are clearly those who have managed to overstate their condition, have been getting away with it and who now face being found out...

  • Comment number 81.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 82.

    DLA underpayments were £70 million more than overpayments in 2010.

    3% of tax payers are evading tax, 0.8% of welfare recipients commit benefit fraud.

    £5.2bn are overclaimed in benefits each year, however people also do not claim a further £16bn they are entitled to.

    The tax evaded by only three large companies would have been enough to pay for all £5.2bn.

    Tax evasion costs us 15 times more than benefit fraud.

    I think we know who the criminals are but because it`s a white collar activity it`s deemed an acceptable practise.

  • Comment number 83.

    To 58, the government is NOT targeting the poorest in society. It is overhauling the discredited benefits system which if you read my earlier post is only too wide open to abuse.

    For those still banging on about bankers, use a bit of common sense, the more profits that the bankers generate then the higher the payments will be to repay the money that the tax payer had to fund thanks to the last government. Don't blame the banks, blame the 'prudent' Gordon Brown and his failing to keep his one eye on what was going on.

  • Comment number 84.

    I have Parkinson's and qualify for DLA which is a Godsend for me. If DLA was taken away from me I would virtually be a prisoner in my home making my quality of life very poor. The threat alone causes undue stress although I am confident of passing any "tests" required but there is always that doubt. It appears that this is an exercise in money saving only by the present Govt. By all means investigate people claiming DLA to catch the cheats. That is the correct way to save money not just draconian cuts leaving genuine people in abject misery on a whim of a government official.

  • Comment number 85.

    11. At 11:46am on 08 Jan 2011, wid79 wrote:
    If the bbc want to follow a benefit cheat about fill free to contact me as I know of one in my street
    -----------------

    What a stupid comment if you know a cheat then report it, if you don't you are condoning the fraud. It wouldn't take you much longer than posting a comment on here so stop moaning and talking about it do something to stop it. I suspect many of these so called " I know someone who" stories are just that not fact

  • Comment number 86.

    The entire benefits system is poorly-designed and needs to be scrapped and rebuilt entirely.

    ALL those who are not earning, irrespective of reason (too disabled, too old, unable to find work or with caring responsibilities), should receive a standard payment based on the minimum wage. And that's it. No maze of additional benefits and payments, give the unwaged a basic amount with which they can support themselves.

    The savings in administration - even t'were that administration well-run instead of the clumsy inefficient beast it actually is - would be immense, enough to be able to sustain a single, sensible payment on which the unwaged can keep a roof over their heads and food on their tables.

  • Comment number 87.

    Under thatcher and her soul destroying mob the rules on getting incapacity benefit where relaxed and millions took the opportuity to take their severence pay and jumped on the benefits wagon. The tory didn't mind as the gave away the countries prized possesions to the corporate businesses. When the obnoxious tories were displaced the rules for getting benefit were greatly increased, I saw individuals with their bodies and minds absolutely racked getting refused by folk who seem to like destroying lives.
    As for the lying posts claiming the benefit culture raised under the labour are misled or misleading.

  • Comment number 88.

    Why have so many different benefits to tinker with? This is supposed to be a welfare State. Welfare as in the provision of a safety net for the needy.

    The government decide how much you need to live on. They control wages so no matter how rich the company you work for is, they still only pay a few peanuts more than the minimum wage. If there's a minimum amount of money we need to live on then why don't we just have one standard benefit slightly below the minimum wage (because they don't need the travel to work expense element) that gets paid to everyone who can't work. Of course, those who won't work get nothing.

    If it is then deemed that an individual needs extra help due to disability as the just below min wage doesn't allow for the expense of something, then they get the extra costs covered. No one else apart from disabled people should be able to claim for anything over and above the minimum wage.

    All we need to do then is significantly raise wage levels to make sure working is the more attractive option.

  • Comment number 89.

    There is a lot of emotive rubbish on this HYS, apparently regurgitated from the right-wing press.

    However, there is some truth, and part of that truth is the use of "disability" to reduce the apparent number of the unemployed. Some years ago (under Labour, as it happens) I was claiming JSA. At one of my interviews I mentioned that, as a result of maintaining heavy vehicles for many years, I had to be careful of my back and in particular avoid lifting heavy weights, etc. If I fail to do that, my back goes into spasm and it takes about a week to recover. This is unfair to me and to any possible employer. That aside, I had no physical or mental problems and was able to undertake a wide range of tasks.

    As soon as they heard about my back they offered to put me "on disability". I declined as I was and am not disabled, but this shows that at one time they were excessively zealous in putting healthy people onto this benefit to appear to reduce the figures for unemployment.

    I am now retired, and I never claimed disability benefit, despite the DWP's (or whatever they were called at the time) efforts.

    On a related point, the fact that you have a neighbour on disability benefit (how do you know what benefits your neighbours get anyway?) who appears to be healthy is proof of nothing. A person might have any of a number of physical or mental problems which render them unsuitable for work yet do not necessarily show to a neighbour casually observing them on their good days. Just something to think about.

  • Comment number 90.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 91.

    "71. At 1:07pm on 08 Jan 2011, Wu Shu wrote:

    And those who have so-called depression should stop feeling sorry for themselves, get up off their backsides and get a job. There is no such thing as depression. Everyone feels low sometimes, particularly those who have to work hard to put food on the table and pay for the spongers in our midst."

    Clinical depression is an illness. It has absolutely nothing whatever to do with "feeling low." People like you, with your stupid generalisations, deserve to suffer from it - see how your views change then.

  • Comment number 92.

    I've been disabled since birth and receive DLA and was unemployed for most of my adult life but I would sooner have had a job than have to rely upon benefit's to survive on. Employers only think of their own image and ignore the disabled. I took a great risk ten years ago and became self-employed, and my customers are unaware of my disability until they eventually meet me, I got no support from the government (Labour) when I went self-employed. I pay my taxes too so in effect I'm paying for my own benefit's. The only people I begrudge are the career scroungers.

  • Comment number 93.

    The Human Rights Act 1998 is an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom which received Royal Assent on 9 November 1998, and mostly came into force on 2 October 2000. Its aim is to "give further effect" in UK law to the rights contained in the European Convention on Human Rights. The Act makes available in UK courts a remedy for breach of a Convention right, without the need to go to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Rights_Act_1998

    Getting rid of the Human Rights Act 1998 will have little effect as the UK will still be bound by the European Convention on Human Rights. If you want to get of that then the UK will have to leave the Council of Europe (not the EU). The UK was one of the founder members of the Council of Europe.

  • Comment number 94.

    Making a system more efficient is one thing, but this sounds like more cuts being applied to the most vulnerable in society. I work for a council whose funding has been cut by central government - this will result in some charges for care increasing as people get benefits cut...as well as a mass of job-cuts that didn't have to happen at RBS, the Halifax and other "private" banks bailed out by the government/taxpayer.

    Can't we start at the top of society and move down? Let's get the uber-rich avoiding tax and VAT to cough up. Perhaps pick on Rupert Murdoch who avoids paying tax, yet his papers/TV channels dominate and he has the ear of whatever government are in power.

    The person moaning about waste and "the public sector" is a bit idiotic. I have worked for both public sector and private companies and there is waste anywhere. I spoke to an iditic debtor once who went into a long diatribe on why public sector councils are terrible, inefficient etc. This was at the time when the taxpayer just bailed out the banks - let's stop hearing how great the private sector is. Some areas of the country have lots of public sector work and don't have another option...other than moving to London?

    If the private sector was allowed to be private, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds TSV, HBOS et al would no longer exist. For some reason they got bailed out by the tax-payer whereas the public sector will be dismantled and cut by this government. Cuts to benefits and the public sector will be the price those at the bottom of society will have to pay; still when I'm out of work I can go and stare at the wonder of the bailed out banks instead....

  • Comment number 95.

    There were 5.9 million working age benefit claimants at February 2010. This is an increase of 115 thousand in the year to February 2010.

    There were around 479 thousand people claiming employment and support allowance at the end of February 2010.

    The number of working age claimants of ESA and incapacity benefits totals 2.61 million in February 2010. This figure is 11 thousand higher than February 2009.

    At February 2010, there were 3.14 million recipients of disability living allowance (DLA), 531 thousand recipients of Carer's Allowance (CA), and 1.61 million recipients of attendance allowance (AA)

    http://www.disabilityalliance.org/dwpstat2.htm

  • Comment number 96.

    With regret those whom are not strong enough to fight wll loose out those whom fiddle are strong enough to fool,i am hearing stories that private Doctors are being used to reasses and they are paid on results of claims rejected,hence the weak will fail(does anyone in goverment know what its like to live with a disability,every day a battle,we true disabled have done nothing wrong and should have the right to be able to live, i have worked hard and paid my taxes and national insurance) those who are disabled like myself whom have not clamed anything but will need to do so in the future, will continue to struggle,and will be too scared to claim and those who know how to con the system will continue to get full benefits

  • Comment number 97.

    As a disabled person who has jumped through all the governments hoops over many years I am yet again frustrated that they want to pick us all over again. We are an easy target! I applied for DLA in Sept 2009 and was told I could only get it at a minimum level. I appealed against the decision and waited over 1 year to get to a tribunal. I didn't even have to speak at the tribunal as when I went in the door I was told my appeal had been successful. Why then did I have to jump through this hoop when I was so obviously due a higher rate of DLA? I have also jumped through all the hoops to get ESA. The government could save money by streamlining the medical process involved. I have had so many medicals for different things that have all reached the same conclusion; that I am unable to work for the forseeable future. They could save millions by having one medical and one appeals process!

  • Comment number 98.

    I was furious this morning when I heard that it was against disabled human rights to review DLA. What about my human rights as a law abiding working tax payer, my husband and I work and have always worked, all my children and their partners work, all paying our taxes which go to central goverment to keep scrouging layabouts on their sofas watching daytime tv and visiting pubs etc. Whilst we struggle to have any form of social life because we are busy paying our bills and obviously their bills. Surely this is a human rights issue to be dealt with promptly!!! Many people of course are entitled to these benefits for good reason and this is only right and proper in our society but the system must be reviewed and only the genuine disabled should benefit. Bring back doctors medical panels and insist that all recipients of DLA should face them. After this the DLA bill would be massively reduced and these monies could then be put to good use to helping those people who really need help to provide a quaility of life they really deserve. Maybe then the layabouts who can fix vehicles with a bad back, or run marathons with some imaginary condition etc could actually contribute themselves to the tax system by getting a job.

  • Comment number 99.

    of course it needs reviewing....any system which allows the 3 people i know on incapacity to claim for depression and sit around all day on their computers is wrong, these 3 people fix computers for me and others, they know more about it than any one else i know............cant work?.dont b++++y want to more like.

  • Comment number 100.

    The only review necessary is one that makes work pay.

    Put benefits on a sliding, reducing scale and work will pay at some point.

    The vast majority of people want to work and pay taxes - but there are many who think that UK plc owes them a living.

    The balance has to change.



 

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