UK WELFARE REFORMS TO INCAPACITY BENEFIT GETS PEOPLE WORKING – With the previous Labour Government’s insistence to increase the welfare budget, backed up by the Liberal Democrats, was it ever really surprising that hundreds of thousands of people across Britain would down tools and live off other hard working taxpayers?
Give most people and inch and they’ll take a yard and Iain Duncan Smith, Work and Pensions Secretary, was right in pushing through welfare reforms, despite the fierce opposition from the Liberal Democrats.
Two years ago Government finally pushed through tough new measures for those seeking incapacity benefits. The new measures including tougher health checks and today the new measures have seen approximately 30% of those claiming incapacity benefits go back to work.
Statistics have been quickly drawn up over the last couple of years in order to support the reforms and use the results to support reforms in other areas of welfare. Throughout Britain Birmingham suffered the highest level of incapacity welfare abuse. Of the near 15,000 claimants nearly 5,200 people stopped claiming and went back to work.
Overall the figures of those who have stopped claiming have risen to over 200,000; producing a huge relief to the taxpayer.
The old system simply gave no incentive for people who became sick to get back to work after they recovered. With little in the way of medical check-ups these people were simply allowed to fleece the system at the expense of everyone else.
While this will come as good news to many there is still a long way to go if we are to make Britain a productive country once again. While the reform takes people off the ‘incapacity’ benefit it has moved many onto ‘unemployment’ benefit. This measure was to satisfy the Liberal Democrats in supporting the new reforms.
Incapacity Benefit, is now replaced by ‘Employment Support Allowance’ and it will be a while before statistics are released to determine if the reforms have actually worked or that the Government has only succeeded in transferring the on IB to ESA without any cost benefits to the taxpayer.
While I am a supporter of welfare reform I am wondering if this actual ‘reform’ or just a ‘smoke and mirrors’ act in order to get the people thinking that the Tory lead Government is actually work.
With the humiliating defeat at the Local Elections, from those labeled ‘fruitcakes’ and ‘closet racists’ by the Prime Minister, the Government needs to start showing positive results and demonstrate that it is working to make improvements.
Labour is still opposed to the moves, which is not overly surprising. It was after all the Labour Government who allowed incapacity benefits to be paid out even if you were overweight or suffered from acne. Ludicrous? Well yes, but Labour has always taken the same stance, tax the rich into oblivion and support the bone idle.
While many people feel that taxing the rich to a greater extent in order to help those less well off is, and always will be, a fool’s errand and for many reasons. Read the article below and you’ll see why.
It will certainly be interesting, once more facts and figures become available, to see just how effective this Government is at reducing the welfare bill and hopefully providing relief for the hard working taxpayer and finally getting the bone idle back to work.
Do you think the welfare reforms are working? Do you think the welfare reforms are amicable? Have your say… leave your comments below.