Select Committee on Work and Pensions Written Evidence

Memorandum submitted by Brian Wexford after the publication of the Welfare Reform Green Paper

  I would like to submit a few thoughts on the proposed changes to incapacity benefit.

  Firstly I would support any initiative to help people who want to work and are in a fit state to work.

  I would not support what Hutton is proposing which is the systematic bullying and punishment of claimants if they don't do as they are told. For example, the reduction of benefit if a claimant fails to attend an interview.

  There are a lot of very worried people out there with severe mental health problems who genuinely believe that the government will hound them to suicide or leave them destitute on the streets in it's zeal to "help" them (force them off benefit). Don't be surprised if you read in the papers articles about people denied incapacity benefit being forced to steal to survive.

  Individuals who genuinely believe they are unfit to work yet are told they are fit and that they will be forced to work "or else" are going to suffer severe anxiety and depression which will worsen any mental or physical condition they already have.

  This is not helping people it is persecuting them. This is utterly disgraceful behaviour from an uncaring and bankrupt government. What next, the return of the workhouse?

Brian Wexford

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