DWP minister inadvertently reveals damning back to work figures

  • Post last modified:May 19, 2024
  • Reading time:5 mins read

This week I wrote about how Keir Starmer’s Labour could be as dangerous for disabled people as the Tories and I’d like to correct myself there. Some of Labour is as bad, but some members are bloody brilliant – especially when it comes to the DWP

Of course, we have the excellent Nadia Whittome, Debbie Abrahams, Emma Lewell-Buck, and future prime minister (in my opinion) Zarah Sultana. 

But someone else who regularly shows the Tories up is shadow minister for disabled people Vicky Foxcroft. Her previous includes asking why she had no counterpart when Rishi first downgraded the ministerial role in 2022 and her excellent work on holding the DWP to account over the WCA debacle.

Vicky Foxcroft, living legend

This week Vicky provided one of my favourite moments of the week and it only goes to show not only how incompetent the DWP are but that they truly can’t see how ridiculously bad they are at this.

During the Access to Work debate in the Commons, Vicky asked minister Mims Davies about the backlog, and quoted some damning stats:

On 1 January 2024, there were 24,874 people awaiting an Access to Work decision, on 1 February, 26,924, on 1 March, 29,871 and on 1 April, 32,445. Every month, the figure keeps increasing, so since the beginning of 2024 the Access to Work backlog has risen by more than 7,500. Does the Minister really think this is supporting more disabled people back into work.

Mims’ response was truly outstanding:

 If we are trading figures, at the close of business on 7 May 2024, there were 36,721 applications awaiting decision.

What basically happened was the shadow minister went “Access to Work is a bit shit” and the minister replied “Actually you’re wrong, it’s even shitter than you thought”.

I find it truly outstanding that the Tories are so out of touch that they see any high number as a brag. There was no effort to apologise for an increase of 4,000 in the space of a month or promises to do better. Of course there wasn’t, because they don’t actually care.

The week in wet wipe

Meanwhile the wet wipe of state for the DWP Mel Stride was bragging about ONS employment figures and how they were “helping” (forcing) disabled people into work. He slathered on Twitter:

We are leaving no stone unturned to get people back to work, rolling out the most radical changes to welfare in a generation

He then proceeded to bang on about how they were helping one million people find and stay in work, “stemming the flow” of over 400,000 people getting the highest rate of incapacity benefits, and overhauling fit notes.

What that actually means

In case you need a Tory bullshit translator, what it actually means is they’re powering on with their mission to kill disabled people. 

Forcing one million people back into work whether they can work or not, with no support. Denying 400,000 people who can’t work the benefits they need and not trusting doctors to treat their own patients.

One vital thing to mention here is the language being used. As with ‘sicknote culture” the Tories are deliberately using phased-out terms because they know these are the ones their core voters will still know.

Incapacity Benefit hasn’t existed since 2013, but using that term appeals much more to people who think we spend all our benefits on booze and iPhones than ‘Employment and Support Allowance’.

And finally…

I’m so sorry to bring this to your attention but I’ve been thinking of little else since the local elections. Here for your viewing pleasure is the wet wipe himself making the best possible gaff on live TV. #GennyErecs

One thing’s for sure, the Tories are on their absolute last legs here and they’re only going to continue to embarrass themselves further

And I cannot wait. 

Featured image via the Canary

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