The government’s implementation of welfare reform is destroying the covenant of care between disabled people and the welfare state (Report, 23 February). The most vulnerable people in our country are being subjected to cruelty. The work capability assessment is not fit for purpose. It is denying employment support allowance to those whom the 2007 Welfare Reform Act deemed it not reasonable to require to work.
The assessment lacks public and medical accountability. Criteria about what constitutes an “illness” and a “disability” have been increasingly narrowed over the years into a set of descriptors that fail to recognise the complex problems and needs of those who are mentally ill, or who have intermittent illnesses or communicative conditions.
We want a system that is flexible and supportive of disabled people and which helps people into good, appropriate jobs with decent wages. One that values and supports those who are unable to work, and that insures us all against the misfortunes of illness and disability.
Jon Cruddas MP Labour, Dagenham & Rainham,
Neil Coyle Director of policy, Disability Alliance,
Anna Healy Labour, House of Lords,
Gavin Hayes General secretary, Compass,
Professor Jonathan Rutherford Middlesex University,
Professor Peter Beresford Brunel University,
Steve Griffiths Researcher and Consultant,
Rhydian Fôn James The Broken of Britain,
Frances Kelly, Rosemary O’Neill Carerwatch,
Alison Wiles, Anna Kennedy, Carole Rutherford co-founders, Act Now – Autism Campaigners Together