‘Reforming’ ESA: the final frontier and the last moral boundary

It’s worth noting that Harry Clarke was a danger to himself and others and if found “fit for work” (as he undoubtedly would be, if not for the cost to lives lost because of the incident already recorded) under the work capability assessment programme, be forced, by financial considerations, to withhold critical information in order to find a job within the government “nudge” and “sanctions” culture.
“On 22 December 2014 a bin lorry collided with pedestrians in the city centre of Glasgow, Scotland, killing six and injuring fifteen others. The driver of the council-owned vehicle, Harry Clarke, said he had passed out at the wheel…….
Having been admitted to the Western Infirmary after the crash, Clarke was discharged on 7 January 2015 He was eventually diagnosed as having suffered neurocardiogenic syncope, a fainting episode caused by drop in blood pressure. …..
…….A good question to ask is this. In the event of injury or death to either the person coerced by the state into work, or to their work colleagues, as a consequence of that person not being fit for work, who is ultimately responsible? Bearing in mind that to qualify for ESA, a person has already been assessed as unfit for work. ……”

Politics and Insights

 IDS ESA Speakout share post.png

Context

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is a benefit for people who are assessed as being unable to work because of a health condition and/or disability. Despite this, ESA has also been politically defined as financial support for people having difficulty finding a job because of a long-term illness or disability, to “help them back to work” despite their illness or disability. This presents a problematic tension because in order to qualify for ESA at all, people must be found to be unable to work, by their own doctor, and by the “independent” Work Capability Assessment.

There’s a significant difference between being unable to work, and facing significant additional barriers to work. People who are assessed are most commonly described as having “limited capability for work” – a phrase which is not precise in its meaning, and which does not include or prompt any consideration of social, cultural, political and…

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