The government is bullying people with mental health problems to justify removing their lifeline benefits

Kitty here provides a very detailed article on how the IDS and the DWP are trying to bully people with mental health problems or learning difficulties in coming off benefits by making ESA and Incapacity Benefit conditional on them taking medical treatment. At present, it is illegal for anyone to force someone to take medical treatment against their will. Even Sarah Wollaston, a Conservative, who heads the Health Select Committee, has stated that this is a rubbish idea. She also reports an article by the Guardian’s Polly Toynbee, in which she describes her meeting with an anonymous job centre manager and the system of targets for sanctions that the government has enforced on them, while at the same time demanding that these targets are not written down or reported. Like the sanctions decisions on jobseekers allowance, a significant proportion of sanctions imposed on the claimants of ESA and Incapacity Benefits are overturned on appeal. This is indeed a government, that has absolutely no truth whatsoever within it, only lies, hatred, spin and secrecy.

Politics and Insights

Existing benefit rules mean it is not possible to legally require claimants to have treatment, such as therapy or counselling, as a condition of receiving sickness benefits. Nor is it ethical.
However, senior ministers have proposed that the rules should be reviewed in order to reduce the “huge” numbers of people who are declared unfit for work due to mental health problems.
As a testimony to how bad this idea is, Sarah Wollaston, the Conservative chairman of the health select committee, has responded by saying that forcing people into counselling would present “profound ethical issues”.
She urged David Cameron to “squash” the proposals amid concerns about the damage they are doing to the image of the Conservative party. She said: “Consent is a very important principle and to link some kind of compulsion to that treatment would be grossly unethical. There would be a serious risk of a doctor being challenged…

View original post 1,428 more words

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