Following the revelation that the DWP falsified testimonies from “benefit” claimants who had positive experiences of being sanctioned the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) has revealed further evidence of Iain Duncan Smith’s policy of attacking the most vulnerable of our society.
STUC General Secretary, Grahame Smith, said
“Information received following requests under the Freedom of Information Act show that the needless policy of austerity pursued by the Government, and Iain Duncan Smith’s department in particular, could be preventing disabled people securing employment.
“In 2010, when the coalition Government came to power, in the 781 Jobcentre Plus throughout the United Kingdom, disabled people looking for work could rely on the support of 499 specialised Disability Employment Advisers.
“Five years later 67 Jobcentre offices have closed; in itself a potential accessibility issue for disabled people, but crucially the Government has chosen to attack disabled job hunters by decimating the number of specialised advisers to help them into work.
“The information supplied by the DWP shows that in May 2015 the number of Disability Employment Advisers had fallen to 297, a fall of 40%. The ongoing attacks on supported employment, the loss of Remploy jobs and other attacks on disability benefits such as the bedroom tax are proving this Government plans to be one of the most heartless and uncaring we have seen”.
“Disabled people need support not sanctions to get into work.”
Lynn Henderson PCS Scottish secretary said
"This is devastating news for the thousands of disabled people who rely on these services to help them live the kind of lives most of us take for granted. With thousands of jobs cuts in the DWP it means that at a time when there is a greater need for help and advice, there are fewer staff around to provide it."
For further information contact Ian Tasker 07974 966227
Notes to Editors
Disability Employment Advisers 2010
Disability Employment Advisers 2015
England 243 (- 42.5%)
Scotland 31 (- 31%)
Wales 23 (-28%)
Disability Employment Advisers provide comprehensive support to individuals with long term health complaints and disabilities to get into work. Further information can be found here http://www.jobcentreguide.co.uk/jobcentre-plus-guide/34/disability-employment-advisors