Benefits fantasies, pippins fit for a prince, honest reading, and a tip
IDS has been trying to justify welfare cuts, Prince George has been given an apple tree and many staff are on zero-hours contracts at Amazon...
This weekend seems as good a time as any to discuss the idea that ice-cream consumption causes shark attacks: the concept commonly used to demonstrate the fallacy "post hoc ergo propter hoc", or "after this therefore because of this". Ice cream sales rise in hot weather. So too do shark attacks. But to see a causal link is plainly ridiculous. There is a correlation, but no causation. I mention this to show why politicians are taking all the wrong precautions against British people being eaten by sharks. Such as the attempt to make children happier by offering couples £150 tax breaks to get married. This clash of real facts and bizarre decisions reaches an embarrassing nadir whenever Iain Duncan Smith tries to justify cuts to welfare. Confronted by evidence, IDS keeps hitting back with his opinion. He "believes" that there is plenty of affordable housing in London, he says. He "believes" that benefit caps cause jobs to exist. He probably believes that the scent of a Mr Whippy enrages sharks.
All the evidence compiled by statisticians in his own department says he is wrong about benefit caps, and the facts reported by The Independent last week show that he's wrong about the "bedroom tax" too, but Mr Duncan Smith sticks rigidly to his beliefs. The problem is, belief doesn't make employment and housing exist any more than it stops a fairy dying, and it's about time the Government grew up and learnt to tell evidence from utter baloney.
A recent survey showed that public opinion is almost as out of kilter with the facts as IDS is. Among the examples: the public think that £24 of every £100 of benefits is fraudulently claimed. The real figure is 70p in every £100. Then, 29 per cent of people think that more is spent on Job Seekers' Allowance than on pensions. In fact, pensions cost 15 times more.
My hypothesis is that persuading the public to hold false beliefs enables governments to get away with cruelly targeting the poor. My conclusion is that we should feed IDS an enormous ice cream and tell him to go and play near deep water.
"to offering unconditional support to those who are severely disabled and cannot work"
By which all they mean is continuing to pay a rate of benefit much as they've always done under the older the older incapacity range of benefits. There's no question of the DWP making sure someone severely incapacitated and on their own is getting any of the right help in practical terms, all the support they provide is in the form of an impersonal payment in to a bank account - it's no different to how the system has been for years.
By 'unconditional' all they mean is 'we won't expect you to work'. Given the harsh regulations for getting in to the Support Group of the dreaded Employment & Support Allowance, it is little wonder that anyone in the group isn't going to be forced to in to work.
Let me give you an example, it's using one of the 16 Support Group descriptors; essentially (unless you qualify under the exceptional circumstances rules) you have to 'pass' at least one of the 16 equally stringent rules to qualify.
Here's how tough one of them is:
"Cannot pick up and move a 0.5 litre carton full of liquid."
In other words, you will only qualify if you are unable to move & pick up a tiny carton of milk like this....
The rules are ridiculously stringent
But the lies about unconditional support are even worse
"I would make the point to the hon. Lady, however, that when her party was in government, one in 10 people received the full employment support allowance, but as a consequence of our reforms, three in 10 people now receive it, which demonstrates that the system is an improvement on the one that we inherited."
It hasn't. He's using an accruing statistic which only counts the number of claimants who go on to the Support Group; they do not provide a means of measuring how many come come off it.
On the face of it he's right about the rate at which new ESA claimants have been placed in the Support Group from October 2008 to May 2010 - it averages out out at over 10%, so his statement that 'one in ten received' the Support Allowance is arguably correct.
However by May 2010 the DWP had only assessed 637,400 new ESA claimants under the infamous 'Work Capability Assessment', so the figures were far from conclusive.
What Mr Hoban needs to be a little bit clearer about is the difference between receiving something and still being in receipt of it. Think of it like this; if the government gave everyone in the UK a gold sovereign at Christmas they could say "over 60 million people received a gold sovereign from this very generous government on Christmas day"- which would be nothing short of absolutely amazing.
However, if on Boxing day the Government then said they wanted half of all their gold sovereigns back immediately they would still be still be able to say 'everyone received a gold sovereign from us on Christmas day' but they would be telling a wicked lie if they made out everyone in the UK was still in receipt of a government backed gold sovereign after getting half of them back - half the nation would be absolutely furious as they sit there looking at their blank mantel pieces thinking 'what a mean bunch of liars this government is'.
Let's take a look at how the percentages rise for those in the Support Group when measured against the overall claimant count from the time the Coalition government took over, we'll start with the August 2010 quarter - the first one following on from the dreaded election in May 2010, this is what the 30% really relates to, but it's a very different set of statistics to the one which Mr Hoban is quoting from:
This table is markedly different from the ESA new claim assessment statistics, something Mr Hoban knows all to well:
Percentage rates of all claimants receiving the Support group
On the face of it this indicates the numbers in the Support Group has shot up to approximately 30% (not far off Mr Hoban's 3 out of every ten people). But what you have to remember is the above figures aren't just for the new ESA claimants Mr Hoban is talking about - the above figures are for all ESA claimants including those transferred from incapacity benefits.
This is where Mr Hoban's claim all falls apart....
Mr Hoban is only telling half the truth
Because Mr Hoban only quotes from an 'accruing' set of statistics relating to new ESA claimants, he gets his '3 in 10' figure (it's actually 26% ) from the Work Capability Assessment results. It's a fundamental failing to quote off the assessment results because they won't tell you how many are still in receipt of his beloved 'unconditional Support'. Remember Mr Hoban is referring to the number of new ESA claimants who are still in receipt of the Support Group. - it's information he cannot possibly get from the set of statistics he quotes from because they do not show how many new ESA claimants come off the Support group.
Given my gold sovereign analogy, an awful lot of all those assessed will no longer be in receipt of their gold sovereigns or rather the DWP's 'Unconditional Support'.
But the following figures show us what we need to know - because they show the numbers of claimants actually in receipt of the Support Group as of November 2012 (the latest date which the DWP figures go up to), these are the claimants who get to keep their 'Unconditional Support;
Mr Hoban is telling you 50% of the truth. In truth, he's a bit of a 50% man, he tells you what he thinks you need to know but definitely not all you need to know. He craftily keeps from you the fact that around 51% of all claimants from the Support Group emanate from new ESA claims and the other 49% are simply those shipped over from incapacity benefit.
Unfortunately for Mr Hoban this also has the effect of knocking his 30% claim in half (or as he puts it 3 in every 10) because the actual claimant figures (accessible via the above links) give the true picture of exactly how the Support Group figures are made up. They show not just an accruing number for the total number of assessments carried out but also what the overall effect of them is as people come on and off benefits or perhaps more importantly move from one group to another. If the assessment figures were adjusted to take account of all of these factors we would arrive at the true percentages still in receipt of the Support Group relating to the group of claimants from which they come.
And these would be the revised percentages:
Overall number of ESA claimants as of November 2012 = 1,447,980
of which the following are in the Support Group
216,240 (14.9%) new ESA claimants
207,420 (14.3 %) ex - incapacity
Mr Hoban needs to come clean and knock off 15% from his beloved 30% claim
Because 15% is the true figure relating to new ESA claims
This is the bottom line, Mr Hoban's 30% isn't 30% at all, it's actually just a little under 15% - which I hate to remind him isn't that different to the 10% (or the 1 in 10) he said we started with under Labour.
The rise in 'sustained' placements (those who actually stay in their group) is purely and simply because of the additional influx of 614,000 additional claimants who have been transferred from incapacity benefits from March 2011 to November 2012, 267,500 of which ended up assessed into the Support Group. (The claimant figure of 207,420 is a different one to the 267,500 shown in the assessment results because some claimants will have been moved off the Support Group or closed their claims). It stands to reason that with such a massive influx the overall figure will increase, someone needs to remind Mr Hoban that he really should stop being so over reliant on a set of statistics that don't provide you with the full picture.
Ah, but there is something else....
A little bit about that 10% under Labour
I've got an awful feeling Mr Hoban isn't going to like hearing this.
It's actually under a Labour Government that between October 2008 and May 2010 no less than 67,200 claimants had been placed in the ESA Support Group. By October 2010 this figure had increased to 89,400.
If we now go back to the new ESA claimants figures shown here we can see that it is by no mere coincidence as of November 2012 there were 88,080 claimants having an ESA Support Group claim of more than 2 years in duration which means nearly all of these were in effect created under Labour when you look at the figures I have quoted from October 2008 to May 2010 with some being placed in the Support Group under the Coalition from June 2010 to October 2010.
Interestingly in the last two years only 70,340 have been in the Support Group for between 1 and 2 years (as shown by the figures for 1 to 2 years).
In simple terms this is a Government which likes to give gold sovereign tokens of Support in a blast of publicity, what you don't get to hear is how they secretly take them back after claiming the glory.
In the next but one post I'll show you how the DWP initially places claimants in the Support Group them knocks them back in to the Work Related Activity Group. A move I'd treat with some suspicion after illustrating just how tough it is to get in to the Support Group in the first place. Even the DWP acknowledge those in the Support Group are the most severely disabled of them all, often including progressive conditions and sadly in some cases they have a terminal illness. Please don't tell me the DWP has found a solution to all ills with their favourite private healthcare contractor....
Have Atos perfected the perfect cure for all known illnesses?
Remember not to trust this government when it says it's giving people more and more unconditional support
Why would they support those they so obviously like to condemn?
Post by nickd (Mylegal) on Aug 8, 2013 6:53:29 GMT
Here's a simpler explanation - in a nutshell
The 'Support Group shuffle'....
I realise some of you may find all these statistics confusing, to be honest that's how the DWP and its government ministers can so easily pull the wool over your eyes - they hide it all in the complexity.
(1) For sometime now the DWP, led by IDS, Hoban & McVey have been spinning you all a line that the Work Capability Assessment has greatly improved because they want you to believe the Harrington reviews have led to dramatic improvements.
(2) Their key piece of 'evidence' to this improvement is to tell you the numbers being placed in the Support Group has more than doubled from the 10-11% (which they can conveniently 'blame' on Labour) to a figure of 26% which they can say has doubled under the coalition - it makes the Coalition look good and enables them to make the previous government look as though it was doing much less to support the most severely disabled - job done if you get taken in by it.
(3) But the way they go about quoting the 26% is to selectively use a set of figures taken from new claims assessments for ESA. In truth, the 'to date' average in this particular set is actually 18% up to November 2012 for all new ESA claims since October 2008.
(4) It's underhand to use these statistics in this way, they cheat by quoting you a figure which is far from complete. The number of New ESA claims which have at any time been placed in the Support Group between October 2008 and November 2012 is actually 310,000. When you measure this against the total number of new ESA claims assessed (1,684,400) this is where the 18% comes from.
(5) The new ESA claim assessment figures are only a part of the overall statistics - they only give you part of the picture because they can't show you how many come out of the Support Group; all you will see is how many have been placed in it from when ESA started back in October 2008. Nor will the limited use of these figures show you how they are interwoven with other groups of claimants such as those who have been transferred from older incapacity benefits, been repeatedly assessed or come on and off ESA going all the way back to its start in October 2008.
(6) This is where using the claimant count (as used in the preceding post) highlights what they don't want you to know. It includes all the variants which the assessment figures can't show you. From the preceding post you can clearly see how the actual number in the Support Group for new ESA claimants has fallen to 216,240. If we measured this against the numbers assessed (1,684,400) we would see a percentage of around 12.9% - less than half of the 26% being quoted by the DWP.
(7) In fairness the best way is to measure the 216,240 against the actual ESA claimant count as of November 2012 which was 1,447,980. It is from this that we can work out that the true numbers of new ESA claimants still in the Support Group as of November 2012 (the latest DWP figure available) is actually only 14.9% - a fair way off Mr Hoban's '3 in 10 new ESA claimants getting unconditional support' (which would be 30%).
(8) It's only through looking at the overall claimant count that you see the 14.9% is 'bolstered up' to nearly 30% by adding in the 14.3% (207,420) for claimants who have been converted to ESA in the Support Group from the older incapacity benefits using IDS's infamous 'long - term sick trick'.
(9) If the 26% was the actual number of new ESA claimants still in the Support Group we would be seeing 437,944 rather than 310,000 in the total numbers assessed and 376,475 rather than 216,240 in the claimant count.
(10) In the following posts I'll show how great numbers aren't just disappearing completely off ESA from the Support Group - I'll show you how the DWP can hide the numbers being 'swapped' over to the Work Related Activity Group. These ministers might play daft over these figures but remember they are briefed by an army of very knowledgeable DWP statisticians who know exactly what's going on with the manipulation of these figures.
Post by nickd (Mylegal) on Aug 8, 2013 23:49:10 GMT
'Supporting People in to work'
When will the DWP be making a start?
Perhaps a good place would be for them to start distinguishing between the disabled and those who are incapacitated?
The DWP has made a lot recently of becoming all 'disability confident' which perhaps explains all their focus on Paralympians or an intellectual equivalent such as Stephen Hawking.
The DWP appear to have very little perception over how some benefit claimants aren't actually disabled, they're just too ill to be able work. Having a few days off work because of sickness doesn't make someone disabled, even after a few weeks or even months they may well remain incapacitated but not to a point where they consider themselves disabled - it's an immensely complicated subject which very few truly understand.
And it's probably through this lack of understanding that claimants may well find themselves wrongly placed in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) of the Employment & Support Allowance. It's often the say so of a relatively untrained healthcare professional which leads to a claimant being wrongly placed in the WRAG because from the moment they walk through the medical examination centre door, the first thought running the assessors head may well be " this person doesn't look disabled enough to be placed in the Support Group and thus a decision is made that that the claimant can expect to find themselves having to prepare for work.
The DWP Work Capability Assessment statistics tell us that from October 2008 to November 2012 one quarter (25%) of all new Employment & Support Allowance claimants have at some stage been placed in the Work Related Activity Group. A placement within the group is conditional and places a requirement upon the claimant that they participate in preparing to return with appropriate levels of support in to work.
Post by nickd (Mylegal) on Aug 10, 2013 19:15:03 GMT
How does this man sleep at night
And why isn't Labour doing far more to expose his wicked lies?
The more I read in to these figures, the more I become convinced IDS is a total fraud.
He's misrepresented the case for welfare reform to the gullible non - thinking voters to a point of nothing short of absolute deception.
I refer in particular to the way he's totally misled people over which political party really parked people on to incapacity benefits. It's not twisting the facts, it's a wilful misrepresentation:
Misrepresenting the long - term sick
Quite how IDS has the raw nerve to pass the buck on to other governments for 'tripling' the numbers on incapacity benefits is well and truly beyond me. Amongst his many wild misquotes can be found the following which appeared in the Daily Telegraph back in May 2010 when he waged war against what he termed a 'bust' benefits system broken by the Labour government. But then he would, everything under this privatisation obsessed government has at some stage been described as broken, bust or on the verge of bankruptcy:
Amongst many IDS misrepresentations:
"The proportion of people parked on inactive benefits has almost tripled in the past 30 years to 41 per cent of the inactive working age population."
"That is a tragedy. We must be here to help people improve their lives – not just park them on long-term benefits."
It's been his shameful agenda, ever since being put in charge of the DWP, to ensure that the government influenced media well and truly brainwashes its readers sufficiently enough in to thinking he's some magic 'Mr Fix It' when it comes to the repair of the welfare state.
It seems that we should somehow just put it out of our mind as to which government actually broke it in the first place.
Except of course we should mind.....
Indeed, we should be regularly reminded of all of the past reasons why we should never ever trust the Tories when it comes to reforming welfare. Shamefully the Labour leadership has gone in to sleep mode when it should be doing far more to point the finger at the Conservative party for the shameful way they instigated and created the long - term sick. It is totally unacceptable for the Tories to call the sickness benefit system 'evil' (Grant Shapps) and for IDS to sink so low in openly dismissing the deaths of people following callous 'fit for work' testing which he 'proudly' but absurdly defended on BBC Question Time ; his argument being that he was getting 2.5 million people off sickness benefits. He wilfully misled the public in to thinking they'd 'not been seen by anyone' and had ended up parked on the benefit over the last ten years - what's more worrying is the fact the audience believed him.
Incapacity claims trebled long before Labour came on the scene in 1997
This isn't about being political, it's about being factual.
The actual figures for working age incapacity benefits increased enormously under the last Conservative government, they show the biggest increase ever in the number of people literally heaped on to the sick. These are the real figures for working age incapacity claimants during IDS's last term of office.
Strangely, the figures shown via the above link (obtained directly via the DWP website) no longer appear to be available. Somehow the DWP statisticians have developed a habit of cleansing the archives of potentially embarrassing figures. They are there somewhere; they just make them less accessible. Not to worry as it's well established in many other sets of data that the Tories previous claim to fame was to treble the numbers, it coincided with a massive rise in the number of people unemployed during their last spell in power. Putting three times as many on the sick in areas of mass unemployment worked magic when it came to hiding 'Maggie's millions' - record numbers who were put out of work under the Thatcher government.
So to be clear, it was Labour who inherited three times as many 'on the sick' back in 1997.
Further evidence of this can be found in recent DWP figures which show that in August 1999 there were 1,911,100 (1.9 million) incapacity benefit claimants with an 'unknown' claim duration of over 2 years. It's a little strange how this 'unknown' figure becomes clearer by May 2000 when we can see that the DWP are able to clarify that 751,220 of them have claimed for between 2 and 5 years and 1,173,680 over five years.
Which of course helps us pin these claims down as having commenced at least 2 years beforehand (May 1998). We can't say for certain how many of the 751,220 2 to 5 year claims shown for May 2000 would have commenced under the last Tory government (which exited in May 1997) due to the 'unknown durations' shown for 1999. It is however obvious that the major bulk would have commenced under the Tories. It was after all John Major who introduced the Incapacity Benefit back in 1995 as a way of combating the problem he'd inherited from Margaret Thatcher.
The initial 'parking' of the long term sick is something which can, beyond a shadow of a doubt, be laid at the door of the Conservatives who initially created the huge growth in long - term sickness claims which had trebled in numbers from around three quarter of a million to two and half million during their time in government. It is of course not something which IDS would care to share with you or his admiring BBC Question Time audience who mistakenly think he's the Nations's answer to curing the long term sick of all their ills.
How low can you go. Needless to say IDS will stoop even lower when it comes to pointing the blame.
Just blame it all on Labour
Who won't defend the lies
It's no wonder the public think they let millions languish 'on the sick'
Why Labour isn't defending their record in dealing with the long term sick isn't too hard to understand.
The public have been far too heavily influenced by the media, it's now well and truly in their heads after being suitably conditioned by believing all they read in the Daily Mail, The Sun, The Express and the Telegraph. Even some of the 'lefty' papers have joined in the benefit bashing - it's almost become a national sport. Shamefully people like to believe the worst in people, they are not interested in an honest story.
Brainwashed by this
Because people like to believe it
It's all a wicked game.
Torment the tormented, punish the poor, vilify the vulnerable; it makes no difference to people like IDS. He belongs to a government which wants to do far more than merely wage war against the poor, they want to go a step further by creating a war amongst the poor. This is all about demoting the importance of social security by nudging them towards developing their very own 'self - security'. It's built upon inducing a fear of claiming anything from the State, inducing sheer terror with the creation of the worst possible 'customer journeys. It's about making the system impersonal, rude and undignified. The agenda is to make sure claimants battle every step of the way for their benefits. Belittling those who have to rely on others is completely intentional, it makes you feel slightly better about yourself if you are working, it all helps improve the prospects of securing privatised growth which lets face it is only made possible when people feel grateful at being able to work for much less.
It's all about creating a new working class Tory who'll put down the Mirror and take up reading the Mail, another one hooked, another one moves nearer to the 'right' side of the working class, it's another potential tick in the Conservative box come 2015 as people feel better about their job in Primark because it puts them a cut above someone they can loathe merely for being less able in having to exist on something as low as benefit 'handouts'. It's about dividing the poor in exactly the same way that Thatcher did back in the days of aspirational home ownership when people were encouraged to buy their very own 'right to buy' Council House. Once settled in their homes they'd feel even better about themselves as a newly taken out loan (a step towards consumerism) paid for a shiny Ford Sierra. People's credit worthiness or 'status' was greatly helped by being a home - owner. It was all about making people feel better about their humble lot, in doing so they became all the more likely to put the dreaded 'Vote Tory' poster in their front room window when it came near to polling day.
It was the creation of the working class home owning Tory.
The forgotten sick
I digress, have I forgotten something?
So I have; our 2.5 million 'on the sick' - what on earth happened to them?
In truth, Labour did manage to get them off the sick, they did so in absolute thousands - not that they'll ever tell you. For those of you who are interested here are the DWP's very own record of the huge numbers of the long term sick who came off their incapacity benefits between November 1999 and May 2010. For those not satisfied over the accuracy check the DWP link which you can find right here.
I think these figures are very revealing, it makes me wonder why Labour are keeping quiet over them.
Number of long term sick claims which ended between 2000 - 2010
Claims 2 to 5 years
Claims 5 years & over
Numbers of claimants coming off incapacity benefits having a claim of 2 or more years
2.4 million long - term incapacity benefit claims ended between May 2000 and May 2010
2,417,460 Incapacity benefit claims of 2 or more years ended in total
927,800 of them related to claims of between 2 and 5 years
1,417,460 of them related to claims of over 5 years
In the next few post we will look at how the 'cycle of claims' becomes almost impossible to break. What the above figures show is that the problem of dumping around two million people on the sick under the last Tory government isn't going to go away any time soon.
Post by nickd (Mylegal) on Aug 11, 2013 15:26:56 GMT
Scotching a few 'on the sick' myths
Sickness benefits weren't giving out like Smarties from 2000 to 2010 for little more than the common cold
The ease over which sickness benefits have been claimed over a decade under Labour has been wildly exaggerated by many.
A much greater degree of laziness exists amongst those who misquote the numbers than it does by those who have actually claimed sickness benefits. IDS would have you believe that all you had to do was visit your doctor, get a sick note, and hey presto you'd end up with a free ticket to over generous sickness for as many years as you care to claim them.
It's simply not true.
Sickness testing has been going on for years
Given all we hear about people being signed off sick, perhaps we should be more concerned about Atos and the DWP's failure to check on their claimants than we are over the apparent ease at which people have supposedly been able to claim these so called 'handouts'?
In truth sickness testing has been carried out for years.
Problems with outsourcing the testing of benefit claimants by private contractors goes back far longer than just the last few years. In 2001 the National Audit Officewere busy commissioning reports in to 'Sema' who took over 'fit for work' testing from what was originally the 'Benefits Agency Medical Services' (BAMS) in 1998. The NAO warned Sema over a need to 'concentrate on improving the quality of assessments and customer service', following on from problems with 'bottle necks and delays' which are, by comparison, absolutely trivial when looking at the scale of chaos which exists today.
Unsurprising Sema, following their poor performance in 2001, went on to be brought out by worldwide monster Atos in January 2004 according to an article appearing in Disability UK. Given the history it seems hard to understand why the DWP would ever have allowed a lack of scrutiny to escalate over the checking of their customer's eligibility to sickness benefits.
Claimants were never parked on the sick with no checks over their entitlement, it was simply far less controversial than it is today because the fit for work test (originally called the 'All Work' then the 'Personal Capability Assessment') was a much fairer test - indeed it was widely praised by many as a world leader.
Claimants were never just 'parked' on incapacity benefits and forgotten about.
IDS talks complete and utter nonsense over claimants being parked on sickness benefits during the last decade with little more than a doctor's sick note being needed to secure them a lifetime on the sick.
In the last post I referred you to statistics (provided by the DWP) which showed you how 2.4 million incapacity benefit claimants who had claim histories of 2 years or more came off the sick. Claimants of all shapes and sizes, with all manner of different illnesses have been coming on and off the sick with a great deal of regularity & consistency over the ten year period from 2000 to 2010. The 'cycle' of claimants on the sick constantly changes from month to month. As people come off the sick they are replaced by more who are signed off as unable to work.
IDS would have you believe they are the same claimants.
If people were just being 'parked' on the sick over the last decade we'd have needed an almighty monstrously huge car park to accommodate the number of claimants - indeed it would need to be big enough to hold five and three quarter of a million people!
If IDS was correct in his ridiculously theory that people were endlessly 'parked up' and simply forgotten about on incapacity benefits we would not only see 2,655,460 working age claimants on incapacity benefits in the August 1999 quarter but we would have an additional 5,745,050 (parked) claimants (shown below) on top - making a grand total of 8,400,510 which even by IDS's far fetched analogy is considerably in excess of the 2,632,000 claimants actually shown in the DWP August 2008 incapacity claim count
Can IDS count?
By making such wild and unsubstantiated claims all IDS is doing is making the DWP look completely incompetent and raising serious questions as to what Sema and Atos were been doing over the last decade when it came to testing the sick. The long and short of it is IDS is completely misleading people in to thinking no one came off the sick since 1999 - the following figures show the huge numbers flowing both on and off incapacity benefits.
The evidence is in the DWP figures.
The problem is that the Tories threw too many in to the incapacity car park in the first place - emptying it is nigh on impossible due to fact that the cycle of ongoing claimants just adds to what's already there.
There are massive numbers involved:
Between November 1999 and August 2008
Note: These dates are used because November 1999 is as far back as the DWP WPLS data is openly available (for certain sets) and August 2008 is the last quarter before Employment & Support Allowance (ESA) was introduced (in October 2008). Using data beyond the August 2008 quarter for incapacity benefits would be unreliable as all new incapacity claimants making a claim from October 2008 onwards would show in the ESA set of figures. Claimants from existing incapacity benefits underwent a process of mass conversion with effect from March 2011. The range of figures therefore represents a 9 year 'window' rather than 10 from November 1999 to August 2010 .
5,745,050 working age claimants took up a claim for an incapacity benefit
120,190 aged 16-17
916,900 aged 18-24
1,370,910 aged 25-34
1,272,320 aged 35-44
626,930 aged 45-49
674,700 aged 50-54
703,620 aged 55-59
292,430 aged 60-64
Of the 5,745,050 claimants taking up a claim, the following International Classification of Disease (ICD) codes were cited
2,0540,180 Mental and Behavioural Disorder
170,180 Diseases of the nervous system
394,400 Diseases of the circulatory or respiratory system
890,120 Diseases of the Musculoskeletal system and Connective tissue
791,140 Injury, Poisoning and certain other consequences of external causes
Regionally the 5,745,050 taking up claims are divided as follows:
857,100 North West
551,710 Yorkshire and the Humber
532,490 West Midlands
521,740 South East
427,400 South West
389,550 East of England
380,600 East Midlands
371,250 North East
6,790 Claimants living abroad/ Unknown
The 5,745,050 taking up claims can be divided by gender as follows
If you think these numbers are excessive, think on this - since the introduction of ESA in November 2008 the DWP have already exceeded a case - load of 5 million. If they carry on like this they'll need an incapacity car park the size of Scotland!
Post by nickd (Mylegal) on Aug 12, 2013 7:18:54 GMT
How how many came off the sick? between 1999 and 2010
If you listen to Iain Duncan Smith in the above short video following an appearance on BBC Question Time he'll have you believe "no one saw two and half million parked on benefits over the last ten years", he was referring to sickness benefits because that was clearly the subject under discussion.
The following DWP figures from IDS's very own department clearly show this not to be the case.
A colossal 6.5 million claimants came OFF incapacity benefits
No, it's not a mistake.
Contrary to all you hear from IDS about 2.6 million claimants being parked on the sick for the last decade or so, these are the real figures sourced from the DWP which totally disproves the myth.
It's not the sort of figure you'll hear on tonight's 'Benefits Britain 1949' where Channel 4 will be taking us all back to the past in an effort to make comparisons with the benefits system. Predictably the Daily Mail has already jumped on the propaganda bandwagon adding more fuel to the war on the poor, no doubt with a little help from those within the DWP 'Press Office'.
Anyway back to reality and a bit of truth. The following figures actually show you how a staggering 6,561,230 claimants came off the sick between November 1999 and May 2010. It represents the continual 'flow' of claimants who come off the sick. For the figures relating to those who claimed sickness benefits please scroll up to the previous post......
Post by nickd (Mylegal) on Aug 12, 2013 16:24:39 GMT
Oh dear, he's been caught out again....
Iain Duncan Smith 'should not have used statistics' to claim benefits cap is working
1 of 1
Ticked off: Iain Duncan Smith accused of misrepresenting statisics
13th April 2013
Iain Duncan Smith was today accused of misrepresenting government statistics when he claimed his cap on benefits was driving people to find work.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) released figures yesterday showing the number of people expected to be hit by the cap - which comes into force this week in London before being rolled out through the rest of the country - had fallen from 56,000 to 40,000, with 8,000 claimants finding work through JobCentre Plus.
Work and Pensions Secretary Mr Duncan Smith hailed the figures, saying the cap had provided a "strong incentive" for people to look for jobs, even before it had started to affect their incomes.
"Already we've seen 8,000 people who would have been affected by the cap move into jobs. This clearly demonstrates that the cap is having the desired impact," he told the Daily Mail.
However Jonathan Portes, of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research and a former chief economist at the DWP, said there was "no evidence at all" that the cap had affected people's behaviour.
"The actual analysis published by the Department for Work and Pensions makes it quite clear that they do not attempt to analyse any impact of behavioural change and that there is as yet no evidence one way or the other that there is behavioural change," he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.
"It may be that the benefit cap has indeed had the effect that Iain Duncan Smith would like it to have. That is perfectly possible but without doing the analysis - and it has not been done - you simply cannot say that and you shouldn't say it."
Mr Portes said it was part of a "consistent pattern" which threatened to undermine public confidence in official statistics.
"I think it is very unfortunate. These statistics are very important. Government analysts, economists statisticians work very hard to produce and they provide important information to the public," he said.
"It is very important that ministers should not seek to misrepresent what those stats actually do or don't show. That detracts from the public's faith in the analysis produced by government statisticians. Read more in the London Evening Standard
Post by nickd (Mylegal) on Aug 13, 2013 13:14:40 GMT
Well look at this!
The 800,000 on the sick who don't actually receive incapacity benefit
Yes, it's true.
Yet another glaring hole in the Government's sweeping statements that all claimants on the sick end up living in the land of luxury. It certainly isn't the case when you wind back the clock to May 2010 and see how many claimants on incapacity benefits were registered as claimants but actually not receiving their incapacity benefits.
It's another part of the complex benefits system which many haven't got a chance of ever understanding.
These are what are known as 'incapacity credit' cases, in some cases they simply will not qualify for Incapacity Benefits because they haven't paid sufficient National Insurance contributions to qualify, in other cases they'll be claimants who's claim is still registered but their actual payment has extinguished.
This is part of the complexity which arises from means - testing and has plagued the incapacity sections of DWP offices all over the country for years. Some claimants will only qualify for their National Insurance stamps to be paid providing they continue to supply the DWP with medical evidence showing they are not fit for work. They never actually receive incapacity benefit itself but may (providing they do not have any other income/savings) qualify for Income Support on the grounds of incapacity.
Here, as always, are the actual DWP figures.....
Working Age/Pension Age split = Working Age
Not receiving payment
Beneficiary - receiving payment
IB rate in payment
<small>DEFINITIONS AND CONVENTIONS: "-" Nil or Negligible; "." Not applicable; Caseload figures are rounded to the nearest ten; Some additional disclosure control has also been applied. Average amounts are shown as pounds per week and rounded to the nearest penny. Totals may not sum due to rounding. <small>SOURCE: DWP Information Directorate: Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study. <small>STATE PENSION AGE: The age at which women reach State Pension age will gradually increase from 60 to 65 between April 2010 and April 2020. This will introduce a small increase to the number of working age benefit recipients and a small reduction to the number of pension age recipients. Figures from May 2010 onwards reflect this change. For more information see statistics.dwp.gov.uk/asd/espa.pdf Notes: Claimant/Beneficiary ‘Beneficiaries’ are people actually in receipt of benefit. ‘Claimants’ include people in receipt of benefit and also those who are not entitled (but keep submitting medical evidence) or who have had their benefit extinguished. Those who fail the contributions conditions receive a National Insurance Credit (denoted "Credits Only").
Post by nickd (Mylegal) on Aug 15, 2013 7:32:29 GMT
New DWP & ONS figures out
A confidence trick?
After 3 years of 'broken Britain' bashing, every message you hear from Government and its departments is becoming focussed on portraying a positive outlook on the UK's financial recovery.
But is it just a confidence trick?
Initially we were being told the country was on the verge of bankruptcy with comparisons being drawn with broken Greece. There was nothing which wasn't in some way 'broken'. We've heard it all, broken hospitals, broken schools, broken trains, broken planes, broken railways, broken cars, broken banks, broken benefits and of course the most broken of them all - the public sector.
Strangely everything that is private can in some way come rushing to the forefront of our economic recovery. Bring on Serco,G4S, Capita and a global multitude of profiteering corporate giants and all will be well. Little wonder they can create profit when reducing workers to zero hour contracts and downsize all to the national minimum wage. You don't need to be an economist to realise that manufacturing output will increase if you can make things more cheaply by taking on new staff at cheaper prices, it improves things no end. People having to travel much further to work isn't viewed as government's problem - it's just great news as more and more people pay out for extortionate travel - every mile covered leads to an increase in government revenue.
There's no doubt government wants to see more of the same but it now needs to look beyond the big corporates as the current round of payment by result contracts run out of puff, government now realises it needs to encourage smaller businesses to take a gamble, it's a risk, a risk you won't take if you're not confident about the prospects of making it work. My own view is it's the arrival of the new governor of the Bank of England who's prompted Government to start pumping out a message of confidence. In some ways it's not a bad idea because continual stories of gloom and doom do little to promote confidence.
But we also need a touch of honesty, as always it's to be found in the real figures. Here they are....
The real figures
The DWP has updated the figures in the 'WPLS' sets to extend to February 2013, some sets are not yet completed. There are amongst them many interesting figures and a full breakdown will be available on here over the next week (they take a while to sort through).
The government often confuses people by the way they infer unemployment has fallen as meaning the numbers on Jobseeker's Allowance has come done - it's actually not as simple as they make out. Unemployment & employment are both linked to a rate which is determined by the number of working age people in the population who are able to work or not as the case may be. It's all worked out on a ratio basis and any increase in the 'rate' will serve to alter the numbers. The ONS have some really good videos which explain it much better than I can, have a listen and you'll soon pick it up.
What interests many are the actual numbers of claimants on Jobseeker's Allowance, as you can see the numbers haven't gone down in the way you hear on television as shown in the most recent statistics issued by the DWP's (WPLS) yesterday.....
Jobseeker's Allowance Caseload (Thousands) : Time Series by Gender of claimant