Wednesday, March 24, 2010

THE "COMPASSIONATE" SOCIETY

"Thousands of seriously ill and disabled people who are unable to work are being wrongly denied benefits, a report by Citizens Advice has claimed. The bureau says the system of assessing Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) claimants is failing, with 68% of those assessed told they are fit for work. It says "crude" tests fail to allow for the complexities of many illnesses. The government says it plans to exempt cancer suffers from testing and show "more sensitivity" for some illnesses. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which reviews the system annually, says it will look again at conditions such as autism, learning disabilities and Multiple Sclerosis. But the bureau, backed by 18 other bodies, says people are "effectively being written off".  (BBC News, 22 March) RD

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