New IB test Alone Will Not Get People Back Into Work

November 19, 2007 12:00 AM

Commenting on the Government's announcement that a new test will be introduced for people to qualify for Incapacity Benefits, Jenny Willott MP and member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee, said:

"While this test is an improvement in some ways, it is only one part of a much broader package of necessary reforms to get people on incapacity benefit back into work.

"After 10 years of Labour Government, it is shameful that there are still around 200,000 working age people in Wales on incapacity benefit, when at least half of them say they want to work.

"The evidence shows that people are most likely to get back into work when given tailored individual support that assesses and treats physical and mental health conditions, and provides people with employable skills.

"When the Government talks of cutting down on the spongers, it should first look at making the benefits system easier to police. At present, the system is so complex it baffles both DWP staff and the public.

"What's more, the Government needs to work much more closely with employers to ensure that there are jobs that people with restricted capacities can do. Sadly, the Remploy crisis suggests that the Government is all too happy to ignore this side of the equation.

"Only a radical simplification and overhaul of the welfare system will cut down on waste and ensure that people get the tailored support they need to get back into work. Labour has repeatedly proven that it is incapable of delivering this."

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