Vox Political on the Government’s Refusal to Perform Assessment on Effect Benefit Cuts

Another of Mike’s articles worth reblogging and reading is his lengthy critique of the government’s claim that it is unable to do a cumulative impact assessment on the effect their welfare reforms are having. This is despite the fact that Landman Economics and the National Institute for Economic and Social Research did one about a year ago for the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Their report made concrete proposals on how the government could alter its analytical and data gathering tools so that they, too, could make a similar assessment.

The government has not done so. As the title of Mike’s article makes clear, this means that The government is not UNABLE to assess its policies’ impact on the disabled. It is REFUSING to do so.

Mike’s article also critiques the verbiage the Tories have spewed about making the tax and welfare system fairer, and being committed to supporting the poor through ‘targeted’ welfare payments. The article begins.

People who signed a petition calling for the Conservative Government to “assess [the] full impact of all cuts to support and social care for disabled people” have been told that the tools aren’t there to do the job. This is because the Tories have chosen not to use them.

More than 29,000 people have signed the petition, leading to a response from the Department for Work and Pensions. If it tops 100,000 signatures, it may trigger a debate in Parliament. Don’t get your hopes up – the evidence provided in these debates is routinely ignored by the government because it doesn’t want to know.

The DWP screed starts with some waffle about being committed to a “fair tax and welfare system” with the effect of each policy change “carefully considered”, in which “everyone contributes to reducing the deficit” and where “those with the most contribute the most”. Is that in money or percentage terms?

But it continues: “However, it is not possible, using the Government’s existing analytical tools, to produce a cumulative assessment of the impact of policies on disabled people.”

This is why a cumulative impact assessment published by Landman Economics and the National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR), for the Equality and Human Rights Commission, recommended more than a year ago that the DWP should change its tools.

Of course, the simple fact that the report was published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission meant that it was never going to get very far. The Tories have for a very long time hated anything related to gender or racial equality, all the way back to the Commission’s predecessors in the Commission for Racial Equality and the Equal Opportunities Commission. The Daily Heil in particular repeatedly called for the Commission for Racial Equality to be closed down.

Mike’s article can be read at http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2015/10/30/the-government-is-not-unable-to-assess-its-policies-impact-on-the-disabled-it-is-refusing-to-do-so/.

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