Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Benefit Cuts: a case study (Part Two)

Following a trial programme of medical re-assessments begun earlier this month, the Department of Work and Pensions has stated that three-quarters of Incapacity Benefit (IB) claimants are well enough to work. Currently, 2.6 million people claim IB, while unemployment stands at 2.5 million.

In Rochdale’s Spotland and Falinge ward (pictured), 42.9% of working age residents claim IB, the highest rate in the UK. The distribution of IB claimants nationally roughly corresponds to the areas worst affected by 1980s de-industrialisation, and it is often claimed that the benefit, which replaced previous disability payment schemes in 1995, has been used by successive governments to disguise the unemployment figures.

The coalition government aim is to return 500,000 IB claimants to the job-seekers’ register. Where are they all going to work?

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