We are sicker than they expected
Chris Grayling admits the plan has failedCelebrating the success (ahem) of the Work Programme the other week, the Employment minister Chris Grayling had this to say about the group of sick and disabled people it is supposed to be helping:
"What has happened is the mix of people coming through the incapacity benefit reassessment is different to what we expected [...] We have more people needing long term unconditional support than expected. And those in the middle group*, who would expect before too long to be mandated to the Work Programme, have proved to be sicker and further from the workplace than we expected. So it will take far more time than we predicted for them to be ready to make a return to work."What he meant was it's not the fault of the Work Programme providers he was addressing that so few people coming off Incapacity Benefit onto the new back to work regime (ESA) have made it into work.
It's just that these people are sicker than they expected.
They removed "Incapacity" from the DWP lexicon. They redesigned the test so it would be more likely to find us Fit to Work. They've given us a year's time limit to recover and return to work.
But the fact remains. Most people in the WRAG group are just too sick to work.
*He means the Work Related Activity Group.