The Big Question

Len Smith – Gypsy activist
It seems sensible, both for the economy and for claimants’ self-esteem, to get people back to work where possible. Without doubt, some do claim incapacity benefit fraudulently, but that should not mean that all claimants are heavily pressured to return to work. Fairness is more relevant to the way a scheme is operated than to the concept behind the scheme.

Angie Lawrence – Single mother
In the main I agree with the welfare reform green paper.  Many people on this benefit are fit for work and they would feel better about themselves if they were employed. But  employers still have a way to go to provide suitable working conditions and I’m not sure whether doctors should be “incentivised” to get people back into work.

Jean Stogdon – Grandparents Plus
No it’s not fair.  Many people were manoeuvred on to incapacity benefit in the Thatcher era to massage the dole figures. If they have been on the benefit for many years they will find it very difficult to re-enter the workplace. I doubt whether the people assigned to counsel them back to work will have the necessary skills.

Eve Rank – Inspired Services
Lots of people with learning difficulties want to work, but the system and society’s attitudes are stopping them.  Why aren’t Access to Work leaflets made accessible to people with learning difficulties? And why do the benefit rules make it so hard to try and get back to work. The new plans can only be fair if more support is made available.


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