The government has announced that Lord Freud is to retire from his ministerial role as Minister for Welfare Reform at the Department for Work and Pensions.
The government pay tribute to this long serving minister here.
They say –
“Lord Freud is the architect of welfare reform, which has revolutionised the way benefit claimants interact with the state.
At the heart of our reforms is desire to give people independence to improve their lives. For too long, people have been trapped by a byzantine benefits system, leaving them powerless. This has always been my driving force – to give people back control over their own lives; to give support in times of need, but also to give a clear route out of the benefits system and into independence.”
Pat’s Petition and CarerWatch beg to differ. As far as sick and disabled people are concerned we consider that Freud’s ‘Dodgy Dossier’, on which ESA was based, was delusional. The pain and misery that ESA has caused has been beyond bearable and ESA mostly didn’t give anyone control over their own lives or get them jobs.
Freud’s policies placed the blame for not working squarely with sick and disabled people. They were told to go out and compete in a competitive labour market in which they couldn’t compete. They were incentivised by reductions in benefits and pointless back-to-work regimes and sanctions. And still they didn’t get jobs.
Freud’s dossier didn’t address the reality of the actual labour market – where employers hire the person who can do the most work for the least money. If sick and disabled people have impairments that cause reduction in their productivity – this is a problem. Freud’s crusade has never addressed this. Instead it continues to drive sick and disabled people up against a market that they can’t compete in.
So we are not sorry that this long serving minister is leaving. He has caused untold pain and misery and achieved nothing. And we wish that he had never been given the role in the first place.