The Evening Post today is reporting that a third of claimants for incapacity and disability benefits are being found 'fit to work' (over 37% in Swansea). This is hailed by the Tories as evidence that they were right to assess everyone on incapacity and disability benefits and that they are rescuing people from benefits and getting them back to work. It shows nothing of the sort.
Firstly, disabled people have no trust in the government's capacity to work tests - I saw a picture of a disabled person on a protest last week, carrying a placard which read "What does ATOS call someone having a seizure? Fit to work!"
Then, where are all these jobs that people who have suddenly been declared fit to work are going to go to? Con-Dem cuts have savaged the public sector and in the process decimated retail and manufacturing. There are no jobs and for the minority of firms looking to take on new workers the government has obligingly provided free slave labour in the form of their Workfare scheme - why pay somebody and train them when you can have as many free workers from the army of a million unemployed youth as you like?
What these figures really mean is that thousands of disabled people now face a cut in income and being harassed to take unsuitable jobs. As the Con-Dems are busy privatising benefit advice, in many cases this will be by a dodgy private firm, of the likes of A4e, paid by results, whose only concern is to get people placed as soon as possible and claim their bonuses.
This isn't enough for the Con-Dems though; they've declared outright war on disabled people on all fronts - adding to their crimes, plans to close 7 of 9 Remploy factories in Wales this summer.
End the harassment of disabled people!
Invest in public services!
No to workfare. For real jobs, with trade union rates of pay!