A letter replying to a disabled constituent asking about benefits:
As a GP I have known many people who
were clearly unable to work. In my time they were given long term
certification, which we renewed every year or so.
Now there is a mindset that anyone in receipt of benefits is a
malingerer until proven otherwise. Certification has been taken away
from GPs and put in the hands of commercial companies who have
targets to fulfil, targets of the percentage of claimants that they
judge to be fit to work. This means inevitably that some will be
misclassified. This policy change has been accompanied by a
programme of vicious propaganda directed against disabled and ill
people by the right wing press (whose readership outnumbers
centre-left press by 3:1).
The testing is a stressful event for people who already live
under constant stress due to illness and disability. There are
many stories of people dying within days and weeks of being judged
fit to work by Atos.
"of those who had been put into the 'Work Related Activity Group' (which prepares claimants for future work), 1300 died within 6 weeks" .
The Green Party takes the view that all citizens should receive a
dividend of the nation's common wealth as a right of citizenship - a
Basic Income - irrespective of work status. If they go to work,
their BI is unaffected. This system is very simple and
straightforward, and saves a vast amount of administrative work. It
can be introduced gradually via Green Wage Subsidy.
Sick and disabled people would receive a supplement to their BI to
help meed their needs.
If someone can work, by sewing or ironing, say, they can do it. BI is
That is our approach. Simple, easy, humane, but unfortunately, like
many green policies, distorted and misunderstood by a biased media.