Disability Rights UK: DWP incapable of delivering a pathway from poverty for ill and disabled people

23 January 2019
Source: Disability Rights UK

The DWP is institutionally and culturally incapable of making the reforms needed to bring Disability rights UK logoabout a “step-change in outcomes for ill and disabled people” concludes a new Demos short discussion paper.

Its author, Tom Pollard spent 18 months at the DWP on secondment from Mind. He has worked on social policy related to mental health for the last ten years, with a particular focus on social security.

His new paper identifies three problems with the DWP.

First, the department is afflicted by a “benefits lens”, where case handlers perceive employment support as a condition for receiving benefits, rather than a means of enabling claimants to pursue fulfilling work. Where benefits are the carrot, sanctions are the stick.

Second, he says that the DWP has impoverished ambition. Departmental staff are often promoted from frontline roles working in job centres. While such expertise is valuable, he argues that staff often seem “incapable of thinking about radical solutions” instead gravitating towards conditionality and sanctions.

Third, there is a fundamental distrust of the DWP by its users. Public communications from the DWP over recent years have often not helped the situation, focusing more on tackling fraud and cutting costs than on

Read the full story on the Disability Rights UK website

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