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Arbeit macht frei, or the Tories and the terminally ill


NormanH

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Some long-term sick and disabled people face being forced to work unpaid for an unlimited amount of time or have their benefits cut under plans being drawn up by the Department for Work and Pensions.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/feb/16/disabled-unpaid-work-benefit-cuts

Thanks Dave. You certainly know who to target.

Those sick and dying people are a bit of a contrast to the Civil servants (in the Department of Health among others) who know how to channel salaries into tax-efficient private companies

Some of the salaries being paid by the Department of Health would

already be regarded as very large, including 19 payments over £100,000,

of which 12 are over £150,000 and five over £250,000[:-))]

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/feb/16/treasury-civil-service-tax-deals-review

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Did you read to the end of the article ?

While I in no way agree with people who are genuinely unfit for work being forced into something they are not capable of, I suspect there are lots of people who would love to work as much as they are able, at the end of the day where are the jobs that these people are going to be forced into ?

By the way my father had terminal cancer and worked up until 3 weeks before he died, he had a job he loved and that was his choice. Everyone is different...

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I'm sure we can all give an anecdote to support our political viewpoint. My late husband died looking fit and well; some days he was well enough to go for a short walk. He felt humiliated by having his DLA constantly checked when he had a condition that was never going to improve.

What is really wrong is the gross incompetence of the government departments which are supposed to administer these things. At the moment it's beginning to look like persecuting the poor and paying the rich undeserved bonuses.

Hoddy

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A friend of mine has been ill for many years - used to be a nursing sister in A&E. She has oesteo-arthritis, and is is a wheel chair and takes liquid morpine. She was to have a check to see if she could go for some type of work, same one I had I suppose - less than 15 points and you can work, questions asked included 'can you walk unadied', 'can you put your arms in the air' can you touch your feet. I scored 9, so could work.

Anyway my mate has now just had to have her leg amputated - they were still trying to see if she could attend for the test! Stupid or what - and the bloke who did my test was a nurse of about 12 years of age, who was told my problems were internal - so of course I could put my arms in the air!

So beware if you are 'asked' to attend these tests to check your benefit requirement!

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Perhaps to use someone to take the tests more qualified than a nurse and to make sure the 'points' system works for the type of person you are checking - eg if someone has a problem with their legs then often they can put their arms in the air! They could also go to the toilet unaided. It's the questions asked to me weren't relevant! So one question paper suits all should be re-examined.
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Clearly overpaid but underintelligent civil servants and politicians feel the need to quantify everything which in this case leads to a proforma assessment of something (disability) that just doesn't lend itself to box-ticking.  After 30 of years of interference by idiots in my clinical practice (HTF do you set targets for, say, emergency surgery?) I find this need by the untrained to govern the judgement of experts tiresome.  Disability needs expert assessment not box-ticking.  
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If genuine claimants want to continue receiving the monetary support they get at present, then I can't see why they object to being assessed on an on-going basis.

Sure, some of the questions may be irrelevant, but, over time, the questionaires can be refined to suit the applicant. One thing is for sure; there is no way that the taxpayer can continue to support the scrougers who play the system.

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[quote user="Russethouse"] I'll play devils advocate : Its fine to criticize the system - heaven knows I could criticise it myself, but there has to be a way to reduce the benefits bill and/or target resources where they are needed, not waste them on people who do not merit them - how would you do it ?[/quote]

Of course the idea that " a way to reduce the benefits bill" is necessary is the nub of the question.

I would prefer to see " a way to reduce tax loopholes for big business and the wealthy so that they pay their fair share" was the first priority, followed by 'targeting resources'

I am not convinced that the benefits bill is necessarily too big, just that it needs better focus and much better support from the 'haves' in Society.

Look at the example in my second link in the OP.

And in answer to Benjamin there is no way that genuine claimants should have to suffer because of tax avoidance and even tax evasion.

'The taxpayer' is not an equal label. There are cheats among them just as there are 'scroungers' among claimants. The difference is that the cheats own the press, and so we hear about one side and not enough about the other.

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Norman, I do not see the link between bad taxation policy and bad social policy.

If the State wishes to tax various forms of monies then it is free to do so, just as those who disagree are free to move their resources to places where they are not taxed to the same extent, provided this is legal. If I were being taxed at 52%, then I think I would certainly be wondering.

Similarly, the State has a duty to maintain those in our society who need help, but it also has a duty to ensure that those monies, which do NOT belong to the state but to the taxpayer, are spent appropriately. And people claiming benefits to which they are not entitled is a waste of taxpayers resources.

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 I agree with Woolly, they are two different issues. My feeling is that there has to be change on both sides, testing needs to be done by mature people with appropriate experience and claimants have to think about what they can do rather than what they can't do.

Claimants who are not genuine need to be rooted out of the system.....

The biggest problem is surely the overall shortage of job opportunities

As for Philip Green and his ilk, I'd like to see some changes made to close loopholes there too, but they will need to be done carefully or they we will lead to a lack of investment in the UK and a loss of jobs

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I see that Philip Green's businesses are going to be taking advantage of free labour on the Tory work for nothing or lose your benefit scheme. It just sickens me that a comapny that has apparently wriggled out of paying tax but it's ok because it's "legal' is now going to avoid paying people any kind of wage. He gets free labour and what does the government get? a nice donation perhaps? It would be one thing if the companies having this slave labour were struggling individual little businesses that could do with a bit of help, but not multi national businesses with fat profits.
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It would seem that even the Daily Mail, albeit the online version, has picked up on the plight of the U.K.'s disabled and chronically ill citizens. I think if one understands & has proper knowledge of what disabled people are being put through back in the U.K., rather than a media formed viewpoint of the situation, one cannot help but feel deep concern for their plight.  

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2102484/This-wartime-Nazi-Germany-Camerons-attacks-vulnerable-needy-stopped.html?forumid=331851#ixzz1mewyMCux

It is interesting to note that according to the government the Incapacity Benefit 'Fraud and Error' figure is 2.4%. Of this 2.4%, only 0.3% is estimated to be down to fraud. This amounts to a loss of £20m. The rest is down to customer error (0.9% or £50m) and official error (1.2% or £70m). It would appear that not that many people are faking a sore back or depression after all. Not much publicised in the tabloid press but these figures come from the government itself. I have to say that I think David Cameron & Iain Duncan Smith have got this very badly wrong. Time to go after the richer pickings of corporate tax avoidance in my humble but firm opinion.  

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That article is well over the top! I've not heard of any forced labour camps and if people are fit for work then they can sign on as unemployed rather than starve! I know someone who is in receipt of Incapacity Benefit. The DSS sent an assessment form for completion, which was returned with a doctor's letter. This was followed by a phone call from the assessment department to confirm that no medical examination would be required. Seems reasonable enough as there have to be checks to ensure that claimants are still entitled to benefits.

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Time to go after the richer pickings of corporate tax avoidance in my humble but firm opinion.  

I'm sure they should too, (although we can't be sure that they are not working on it,  there may be something in the budget,) but why is it either, or ?  In addition  suspect government wil have to tread very softly in order to increase receipts from these loopholes and still make the UK attractive for big businesses who could provide employment.

By the Daily Mail figures there is £140 million being lost on mis-directed benefit, the UK can't afford to lose amounts like this, whatever the cause.

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[quote user="Pommier"]

That article is well over the top! I've not heard of any forced labour camps and if people are fit for work then they can sign on as unemployed rather than starve! I know someone who is in receipt of Incapacity Benefit. The DSS sent an assessment form for completion, which was returned with a doctor's letter. This was followed by a phone call from the assessment department to confirm that no medical examination would be required. Seems reasonable enough as there have to be checks to ensure that claimants are still entitled to benefits.

[/quote]

I read the posted link carefully three times and could find no mention of forced labour camps; I then loaded the article in to a WordProcessor and did a word search and it found nothing. I would be interested to learn of these forced labour camps so I can arrange a visit to one of them. Currently I have to content and sublimate my intellectual superiority by visiting large Super Markets and taking the mickey out of intellectually inferior staff regarding their complete and abysmal lack of knowledge on 3D TV wide screen televisions.

A monthly visit to a forced labour camp would be a real synergy plug-in, regards, malcolm.

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I have to say well done to the Daily Mail journalist concerned for being brave and honest enough to write this article. No surprise it didn't make it to the paper version itself however. It is spot on in my opinion.

Over a dozen and counting disabled and chronically ill people have committed suicide over the government’s reforms. ATOS should, in a fair & honest world, be prosecuted­ for their fraudulent activities and misconduct in performing these assessments. I will certainly not forget the recent response of Iain Duncan Smith to a question in which he stated that the disabled were not suffering as a result of these reforms. Evil or just appallingl­y ignorant? 

Interesting paper from Inclusion London re. politicization of the U.K. press and the rise of propaganda against the disabled. No surprise really but a good commentary on emerging Orwellian principles and disinformation in the U.K. media.

http://www.inclusionlondon.co.uk/domains/inclusionlondon.co.uk/local/media/downloads/bad_news_for_disabled_people_pdf.pdf

Of course the far more logical target for substantive cost savings would be the huge amount of unpaid tax, through fraud & tax avoidance, by both corporations and the U.K. rich.   I understand the estimated figure for U.K. tax avoidance amounts to something in the region of £ 25 billion per annum. It could easily constitute an even higher figure I suspect. However, this doesn't seem to fit with the conditioned mentally of the populus in this brave new age of austerity. Sadly.

Some previous online articles by the Daily Mail (same author) also make interesting reading:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2084706/David-Camerons-Welfare-Reform-Bill-Hiding-truth-way-achieve-it.html?forumid=331851#ixzz1j5Y3y9Bm

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2085672/Welfare-reforms-Cameron-defeated-Lords--What-surprise.html?forumid=331851

 

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No smoke without fire..

 

"Work and pensions ministers have been told that their rhetoric on disability benefits is fuelling an atmosphere of hatred and hostility towards disabled people.

On the same day that six national disability charities warned that the government’s focus on “fakers and scroungers” was causing disability hate crime, a coalition minister was told his colleagues’ approach risked creating an atmosphere similar to 1930s N_a_z_i Germany."


http://www.candocango.com/ministers-warned-over-adding-fuel-to-disablist-fire/#ixzz1mpa6lruB

 

 

 

 

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This idea that the government should either target the disabled or  target the 'huge amount of unpaid tax, through fraud & tax avoidance,' is simplistic to say the least - do we just turn a blind eye to those  fiddling the system because its a disability benefit they are claiming or is it that you perceive some sort of 'hands off policy' because targetting disability benefit should be sacrosanct?

Or do you  just not believe it happens, or care ?

Actually the Daily Mail article was little more than a rant. (Which I would suggest the author got off her sick bed to write more because she has a strong work ethic and she is probably freelance, than out of any genuine outrage) 

However  it would be interesting to read your ideas of some positive ways  of  either cutting the benefit fraud bill or closing the tax loopholes.

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Malcolm, I believe that Hitler, who is compared to the government in this article (cultural observers could not fail to notice similarities between what is taking place here and what occurred in Hitler's Germany) was involved in these camps, as she seems tobelieve the government is (  Forcing people who have more than six months left to live - yes it is that stark, again - to earn a living) and 'The ritual humiliation, brutalisation, threats and punishment of anyone who is considered 'a burden to the state'. Anyone who is less than perfect'

As I stated in my earlier posting, this isn't the experience of the person I know, who was treated sympathetically.

Quotes from the article in blue.

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[quote user="Pommier"]

 

Malcolm, I believe that Hitler, who is compared to the government in this article (cultural observers could not fail to notice similarities between what is taking place here and what occurred in Hitler's Germany) was involved in these camps, as she seems tobelieve the government is (  Forcing people who have more than six months left to live - yes it is that stark, again - to earn a living) and 'The ritual humiliation, brutalisation, threats and punishment of anyone who is considered 'a burden to the state'. Anyone who is less than perfect'

As I stated in my earlier posting, this isn't the experience of the person I know, who was treated sympathetically.

Quotes from the article in blue.

[/quote]

Your inverse rationality of assuming that sympathetic treatment by an underling of the fascist state means à priori that the state is "good" does not convince me.

I had sympathetic treatment by servants of Salazar,Franco,Pinochet,Viola and other dictators but still managed to retain a modicum of objective criticism, regards, malcolm.

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