It is reported in The Telegraph that Chris Grayling, minister for employment, suggests that up to 800,000 people will be assessed as ‘fit for work’. What this is saying is that ATOS, the French IT company who recently won an extension to their contract with the DWP and were awarded another £300million over the next three years have been given a target of ousting ‘a significant number’ of people off Incapacity Benefit.
Mr Grayling’s ill-informed suggestions aside, perhaps as Employment Minister he’d like to direct the nation to his set of policies on job creation because there seems to be a distinct lack of them in the marketplace.
Many people have been channelled onto Incapacity Benefits by the government (it doesn’t matter which colour) as a means of massaging the unemployment figures into a downward trend to support other policies at the time.
We now have a government that is trying to blame those on IB for being there and suggesting that they are at fault when they were put there by the DWP of the time.
Yes, it’s right that everyone should have access to a job; to feel the pride of supporting ones family, of having a purpose in life but to suggest that the pool of available jobs around the country can be filled by those coming off Incapacity Benefit is simply spin of the most inane order.
Yes, Mr Average in Brixton would love to get the salary that goes with the job in Brighton but he doesn’t necessarily have the skills and won’t be selected for interview because he’s outside the area and even though Duncan-Smith feels that they can ride the bus to the next town it is entirely possible that the umpteen hundred other applicants will be closer.
ATOS is being paid £300million to purge the benefits system of people who have been marginalised and socially stigmatised for many years, some to the point where they know no other life other than being on benefits – it’s not right but it’s not necessarily their fault.
Whether Mr Grayling wants to admit it or not when he says “The goal of a reassessment is to provide specialist support to those who have the potential to return to work. There is no financial target. There is no goal to achieve.” he is quite simply lying through his back teeth. There are hidden agendas; there are financial targets and motivations for ATOS and there is a goal of ousting as many people from the benefit as possible – regardless of ability.
There should be job opportunities for anyone who is fit for work or even those who want to overcome their disabilities and find a job anyway but there simply are no jobs of sufficient scope and magnitude to satisfy the need; not everyone has an aptitude for clerical, office or IT work; not everyone has an aptitude to work outside or to work with their hands but there are no opportunities for anyone to find out what their aptitudes are and this is the fundamental problem.
While small business owners are being red-taped into oblivion the government is content to see up to 73% of the working population in certain areas working for or on behalf of local or central government. There is no need for creativity in government, only the ability to push paper and abdicate responsibility, clock up as much TOIL as possible, go home early, avoid controversy, retire on a pension paid by others and die.
When the DWP use terrorist laws to close down companies that create jobs for disabled people that in turn serve the community while themselves running monstrosities such as Remploy which lose £2.2million a week and put disabled people out of work while paying their executives £million’s in bonuses despite ‘requests’ from Duncan-Smith to reduce those bonuses, we are left wondering what exactly is the purpose of the DWP, Iain Duncan-Smith and Chris Grayling?
Where are the job making plans Mr Grayling? Where is the support for the small business to provide jobs at a local level for individuals? Where are the opportunities for manual workers, training for apprentices, development of skills being lost through a lack of training; who will build tomorrows world – robots?
The DWP can run their own witch-hunt, Mr Grayling should be concerning himself (as minister for employment) with where the jobs come from – how people will be able to take control of their own lives, that is his role and he doesn’t seem to be doing it very well.