Campaign Statement for the General Election

  Pat’s Petition called for a Cumulative Impact Assessment and are delighted that there is now talk of establishing one through the EHRC. We understand that after the debacle that is welfare reform – a new government will want to take a very careful long term view as to how to get things right. The long term solution will be more complicated than simply reforming the Work Capability Assessment (WCA). The WCA has to test for something meaningful. The Employment Support Allowance (ESA) groups at the moment are meaningless. People in the Work Related Activity group (WRAG) can’t move to work. The new government has to understand that sometimes impairment does actually impair and lead to extra costs to the employer. As a society we need to think about whether it is government or employers who will pick up any on going extra costs of impairment when employing a disabled person. The government will probably have to intervene in the labour market to solve this problem. Until these extra costs are openly debated and it is decided who will pay – the government cannot continue to air brush the costs of impairment away because they are an inconvenient truth. They cannot continue to use ESA to try and force disabled people in to a labour market where they cannot compete. This is the Elephant in the room. But disabled people can’t wait for the long term solutions. They are in crisis. Carers and disabled people have always faced long term poverty and lack of support. Welfare reform has made it far worse. ESA has added undue stress and pressure and...