INCAPACITY Benefit will be abolished under the Welfare Green Paper just published by Works and Pensions Minister, James Purnell.
The 2.7 million people receiving Incapacity Benefit will be made to work or, if it is accepted that some are incapable of work, go onto a new inferior benefit, the Employment Support Allowance.
Previously Purnell had been advised by government welfare adviser, David Freud, that 2 million of the 2.7 million people on Incapacity Benefit were hoodwinking the government, and were able to work.
The new measure is therefore intended to be a purge of all those who are on Incapacity Benefit.
The government is actually planning to add two million people to the army of the unemployed.
This is at a time when this army of unemployed is growing rapidly and when the Ernst and Young Item Club predicted just yesterday that it would be rapidly increasing to two million people seeking work by next year, not counting anybody who is set to lose their Incapacity Benefit.
At the least the government is already planning for four million unemployed.
It is typical that the Brown government, instead of going for the class that is responsible for the collapse of the banks and the growing industrial bankruptcies – the bankers and the capitalists – is instead going for the victims of their failing system, the working class, the unemployed and the poor.
It has already handed £150 billion to failed banks. Not satisfied with this, Chancellor Darling has announced the end of the ‘golden rule’ and is preparing to greatly increase government debt, up to as much as 50% of the GDP, in order to be able to hand out tens of billions more to failing banks and industries.
While Brown props up the banks and the failed capitalist system he canes the working class and the poor and is now working out ways of doing it better.
The Welfare Green Paper recommends an ever more stringent regime for the unemployed with the noose tightening around their necks at three and six months of unemployment.
If the unemployed refuse to take any job they will lose their benefit.
When they have been unemployed for a year they will be forced to carry out four weeks of community work by charities or private providers, with the privateers having the option to make the period of forced labour for a meagre benefit permanent.
After two years, all the unemployed will have to work full-time in the community for their jobseekers allowance.
They will be made to clean the streets and erase graffiti. The growing army of the unemployed is to be victimised for the crisis of capitalism.
Not only that though: the privateers will tender for work in the NHS and throughout the public sector, and since many of their workers will be getting no wages at all, they will undercut trade union workforces and put them out of a job.
Brown wants a slave labour workforce, which as far as the bosses are concerned is crucial for holding down inflation, and cutting government expenditure – all the better to prop up the bosses and the bankers.
One of the other proposals is that people who have been signed off sick will have a new medical check with someone who is not their own GP.
Drug addicts will have to undergo treatment or lose their benefit.
Minister James Purnell says the plans are ‘revolutionary’. The Tories say that they thought of them first.
These measures are so anti-working class and anti-trade union that not even the TUC can swallow them without getting indigestion.
The TUC Congress is in September. A resolution must be put down by the general council that the government must withdraw these proposals or else they will face a general strike by all of the TUC trade unions to bring it down and bring in a workers government.
This is the only way to halt the latest Labour Party attack on the working class, the poor and the trade unions.