Benefits reform: Media coverage BBC and Times

Benefits reform: Media coverage BBC and Times

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Times  |  Rosemary Bennett, Alice Fishburn  |  2 July 2010

Sick-note reforms ‘are in danger of collapse’

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/politics/article2585543.ece

The academic behind a new benefits system designed to end Britain’s sick-note culture warns today of an impending crisis if radical changes are not made.

He says that ministers should postpone plans to move 2.5 million incapacity benefit claimants on to the new employment and support allowance (ESA) in October until serious errors have been rectified.

“To go ahead with these problems is not just ridiculous. It is, in fact, scary,” said Paul Gregg, Professor of Economics at the University of Bristol.

All new claimants have had to apply for ESA, which includes a tough medical test, since October 2008. But thousands of vulnerable people with terminal cancer, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and clinical depression have had their applications rejected and told to look for work…

Full article here

Times  |  2 July 2010

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/politics/article2585558.ece

Emma Webb

Emma Webb, 36, has worked all her life but in 2008 she became ill and her job in retail became a struggle.

She initially thought it was a bad back, caused by years of standing for long periods. Then she began to slur her words and a few months later could barely walk. Her doctor diagnosed ME…

Full article here

BBC News  |  28 June 2010

‘I’m worried about benefit cuts’, says ME sufferer

Andy Micklethwaite, 58, from Derbyshire, has been on incapacity benefit for about three years, but started suffering with ME in 1984.

He had worked for about 10 years in sales support for a firms supplying computer systems before being made redundant.

After that he said he had tried various jobs as his symptoms got worse – including setting up his own business, teaching people introductory computer courses at a local college and invigilating exams before the ME meant he had to stop working…

Read full article here

BBC News  |  Politics  |  28 June 2010

Q&A: Incapacity benefits explained

Ministers looking to make savings have set their sights on the bill for incapacity benefit – but how does the system work at present?

Some 2.6m people claim incapacity benefit, or its successor, the employment and support allowance, at an annual cost of about £12.5bn.

Chancellor George Osborne says that this amount could be cut, while protecting “those with genuine needs”.

So what are the basics?

What are the benefits…

Read full article

BBC News |  Business  |  22 June 2010

Budget: Radical shake-up of benefits to cut spending

The Budget means most claimants will lose money – but some are winners A raft of benefits have been cut or curbed as part of a radical shake up of the welfare system.

These changes are designed to save £11bn per year by the end of the parliamentary term.

That adds up to a quarter of the annual target of £40bn of spending cuts and tax rises by 2014-15…

Read full article here

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