Rosie Cooper MP

Working hard for the people of West Lancashire

06/04/11 - Comment on Incapacity Benefit changes

“There is no question that incapacity benefit is in need of reform.  The previous Labour government introduced legislation to support and encourage people into work if they could work but that help should also remain for those who genuinely can’t.


“However, we have a position now where the Conservative-led government has created tests that are going to create confusion, muddle, risk and uncertainty.  The real fear is that people genuinely in need of help and support will be denied it under these new tests. There have already been many complaints and appeals about the way these assessments are being carried out. 


“Once again Conservative ministers are trying to rush through their plans without thinking them through properly and are not prepared to listen to the professionals.  They have ignored their own Government’s independent advisor, Professor Harrington, and his recommendation that they wait for his report which would deal with the issues of those with mental health or fluctuating health conditions in relation to the eligibility criteria for the Employment and Support Allowance.


“If the Government get this wrong and make mistakes they are not the ones that will have to live with the consequences.  I support the need for reform but oppose the approach.  The Government need to take a step back before rushing in and listen to their own professional advice”

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