A more creative approach to welfare reform could have saved lives

So, while the UK was talking about Scotland, someone has died:

David Clapson’s awful death was the result of grotesque government policies (9 September)

‘The DWP brags about ending the ‘something for nothing’ culture, but benefit sanctions punish the unemployed, disabled and poor in ways that are utterly inhumane.’

Family calls for benefit inquiry after David Clapson death

‘Diabetic David Clapson, 59, from Stevenage, died from lack of insulin, 18 days after his Jobseeker’s Allowance was suspended in July. He was found dead in his flat on 20 July, with £3.44 in his bank account.’

I have posted on this topic before:

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) disgrace (September 2011)

‘All around you – in this country, today – the Government is testing all the people who are claiming DLA to weed out those who are cheating the system. I think we all agree with this objective. But what about the strategy that has been developed to deliver it? In particular, what about the people who are genuinely claiming this benefit? The ones who deserve it, the sick and disabled who it is there for. Those who are not on the make, but in real need.’

Can your doctor be trusted or not? (April 2013)

‘Until the Government started paying ATOS to do the job, they trusted your doctor’s evidence that your disability was as you were claiming it to be. Not any more. The Government would rather trust ATOS. Surely, if doctors provide false declarations on behalf of their patients, they should be named and shamed and punished just as severely as those ‘disabled’ people who fiddle the system? Wouldn’t such an outcome deter rogue doctors from providing false evidence? For some reason, we don’t read about these doctors. Yet they must exist or we would not need this inhuman ATOS technology for the Government to rely on instead.’

In London, we are known to have some of the best creative advertising agencies in the world. They have a greater understanding of human behaviour than government.

To the deepest marrow of my bones, I have had no doubt whatsoever that any one of them would have found a better, more humane way of achieving this goal than has been the case.

This would have been the brief:

‘How to cut people falsely claiming disability benefit, while protecting the health (and lives) of those who really need it.’

Earlier this week, in the pub, I was asked what the subject of my next blog post would be. I mentioned the David Clapson story.

The reply was:

“Cutting down the fakers is all-important and if that costs people their lives, then this is justified in pursuit of the larger goal.”

What do I know, eh?

David Clapson

  • John David Turner

    ESA, Broken Beyond Repair? A Suggested Framework for a Wholesale Overhaul http://wp.me/p4nKAS-a5 via @Jodatu