Jobcentre Plus.

A future Labour government would introduce a new ‘Work Support Programme’ for unemployed disabled people, in a bid to reduce the number of people claiming sickness benefits.

Analysis of figures uncovered as part of an investigation into government spending reveals that the coalition has overspent on Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) by around £8 billion, claim Labour.

This comes at the same time as figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) show that the number of people claiming ESA has risen by 50,000 in just six months.

Labour say this is due to the ‘failure’ of the controversial Work Programme, dubbed ‘workfare’ by its opponents, in helping sick and disabled people into work. Only around one in twenty ESA claimants who participate in the scheme find secure and lasting jobs, while the overwhelming majority find themselves back at the jobcentre and trapped on benefits.

Labour would ‘improve the employability’ of sick and disabled unemployed people, says the shadow minister for disabled people Kate Green MP, through the introduction of a specialist programme designed to support them into work.

The ‘Work Support Programme’ would help support ESA claimants regarded as being the ‘furthest from work’, say Labour.

The programme would also utilise ‘existing resources’ from underperforming government schemes, such as the Work Programme and Work Choice, and then make use of those ‘resources’ to reform the discredited Work Capability Assessment (WCA). Labour say they want to ensure that the WCA ‘provides a gateway to back-to-work’ support, rather than a barrier.

The majority of sick and disabled openly say they would welcome the opportunity to work, if they are able to, but many claim that employers discriminate against them in favour of healthier, more abled-bodied job seekers.

Kate Green MP, Labour’s shadow minister for Disabled People, said:

“Thousands of disabled people who want to work are being failed by the Tories. The Work Programme isn’t working for disabled people, with just one in 20 finding jobs, while this Tory-led Government slashes specialist support in job centres.

“The Tories’ failure to help disabled people into work comes at a huge cost to disabled people in every corner of the country who are being let down and to taxpayers who are facing an £8 billion bill.

“We must bring down social security spending and doing that requires a new approach to tackle the root causes of these costs directly. That’s why Labour will give disabled people the support they need to find a job.

“Our Work Support programme will bring hope to thousands of disabled people who have been let down by David Cameron’s government.”

No further details were available at the time of publication.


  1. Don’t they understand that many sick and Disabled people can’t work because of their illness or disabilty, sounds to me like they will be bullying people into work.

    • Exactly Steve, i’ve been told by the dwp that my multiple illnesses are disabling, degenerative and i will not inprove and work in the long term is unlikely.. so why am i harasssed every 6 months with forms and assessments. they should seriouslt think about letting people such as myself and those far worse then me retire at 60 and leave the jobs for the youngsters and those more able. I thought i had 2 more years to fight this wretched system.. now it turns out i have 8 and i don;t know if i can fight that long ! what is this obsession with getting disabled people onto work while there are so few jobs, There has to be a line drawn between those that cannot work and those that possibly can, and for those that cannot leave them alone and do not harass them more than they are being harassed and bullied now. I’m sick of having to justify my health issues, to some dwp worker not medically trained !!

  2. Here we go again,its always someone elses fault,the fact the idiots in power now have turned everything they touch to sh*t is not the fault of the sick disabled or unemployed,lets take universal credits,it wont work it doesnt work and it never will work until they get the right IT company in to do the job,how much has IDS wasted on that clusterf**k of an idea.I for one would defo love to have my health and be able to work rather than sit and claim ESA.Maybe if they collected the money owed by big corporations and went after the tax dodgers with the same ferver they do the sick disabled and unemployed we might just start to get somewhere

  3. We are the easy target we cant fight. I have multiple disabilities and health problems. I have worked in the past but now I’m not fit enough to work. How many employers would allow me to take a prolonged rest break for up to three hours to a nap because I am so knackered I have to sleep. I take a number of different medications to control my pain and severe depression.

  4. It does not matter how many work programs they try and bring in for the disabled the fact is if you are too ill to work because of your disability or illnesses then you are just that too ill. I agree with Stephen it is a different part but the same SHIT! It is all about saving money, how about this then, the government wasted 12 million pounds on stopping illegal immigrants entering the UK from France and they have the Gaul to tell the disabled to get back to work because the government feel we need help. The government need help understanding how we feel, how illness affects us etc and not treat us a bunch of idiots who do not understand anything. I am on numerous tablets per day and no employer would take me on due to the fact that it is dangerous and against health and safety rules and I could not be trusted on a machine, does anyone think about that for instance? No thought not. I will not justify myself to someone who does not know my illness and will if asked carry a doctors letter with me at all times. I am not going to be herded into anything because the government wants me to.

  5. another kicking then another ftw but whose going to make you walk on water this time or do they want us now to go to thoise camps for the disabled were one picks up that towel and bar of soap it seems like nothings going to change neobolism or whot ever you want to call it hasnt gone anywere but greed it seems is in all partys jeff3

  6. I’m an OAP, and voted Labour all my life,but reading this I’m slowly losing my patients with LABOUR. They are forgetting their roots, of why this once great party foundered. Like football it’s not for the ordinary working men/women anymore.

  7. Charlie Fleming if they chased and recovered the money owed by the corporations there would be enough to stop most of the austerity cuts and no chasing the sick and disabled for paltry amounts. No bedroom tax required either. It’s that simple.

  8. You’re leaving me with no one to vote for. Bad enough that Labour started Atos’s regime but to not care at all the people who have died under this abusive bullying scheme and continue along the same idea that people on sick are scroungers and all disabled people can work. Lets start treating people with compassion and understanding not as numbers.

  9. I nearly made a comment about this article & the Labour Shadow Minister for Disabled People Kate Green comments t
    Then I thought I have been down this road before, never again. Words & promises are cheap !

  10. Lubricated Labour with the grease monkeys called TOE RAGS are joining or did they ever leave the battle against the poor because they are not paying enough to keep the rich in power,fiftyfive per cent are you reading this for this is the real agenda,this is BETTER TOGETHER as Labour understand it.Is this the kind of society we all want where neighbour is pitted against neighbour and household against household, where the gap between rich and poor is wide and growing wider,how many suicides are in this calculation,how many mental breakdows caused by avoidable stress like this induces,how may more young mothers trying to put a crust on the table for their little ones are out on the streets selling themselves to the low lifes who profit from the distress of others.I know, I work with them (met one today )and they are getting broken, their proud spirits are being crushed, they cannot look me in the eye when I talk to them and if they did they could not miss the silent tears on my cheeks as I grieve for them.I am not one for hating,I am not good at it and never want to be but my anger, my fury is beginning to overflow into my own social life too.Under what stone did these insects come from.The Tories are Terrorists,Labour is the Gulag Archipelago revived and the Liberal Democrats are trying to tell me that shit tastes like sugar and that I should vote for them for the Tories alone in Government are Nazi’s so I suppose to take a historical precedent they would be the Brownshirts of Hitlers ( Cameron ?) regime before the night of the long knives.Well,I could suggest sgian dhu’s instead for they are as firmly as they can be in bed with them and now they love power so much they want to make it semi-permanent.Count me out of this lot of slimy swines, treacherous double dealing rogues who have nothing better to do than mollycoddle the rich and starve the poor.I opt for the best choice,The SNP, a party of real social justice that is at the heart of their agenda, that have their eyes firmly fixed on Scotland’s self Government and her Independence, who are promoting and preserving and teaching all our languages in Scotland,Gaelic, Scots and French and Spanish etc and etc and even that more bastard than most of the languages of the World, English.Scotland deserves to be fre and more than ever needs to be free and Independent of all these unmentionables.Scotland Yet.

  11. How are they going to deal with people like myself who have Aspergers Syndrome and a very narrow interest/set of skills). I (particularly) would need to be found a job that I enjoyed because it is based on what I understand (i.e. animals/animal care). Can’t really see that happening instead of being unfairly pushed into a job that I despise and would ultimately fail at.

  12. Before Labour starts getting on the bandwagon regarding getting disabled people into work they need to take a look at the Mobility side of PIP and put back the distance of how far people are allowed to walk to be able to get the high rate. over 600.000 disabled people are and will lose their Motability cars and scooters because of the change in the rules. At the same time disabled people are being force off ESA and into work. How does the brainless MP’s think disabled people are going to get to work if their means of independent (Motability cars/scooters are taken away?

  13. As far as this goes, it is a good idea. It only mentions helping those who would like to work to find jobs. This addresses a real problem since employers do not want the hassle of adapting their practices or taking the chance that their employee may take time off because of their illness or disability. In a period of high unemployment it is even more of a problem for those seeking work.

    The coercive aspect of these policies, however, causes untold damage to the most vulnerable people in society. Self-driven careerists like the ones who formulate these policies will never understand that many sick people simply need the time and space to create a stable set of circumstances that allows them to cope. That is the necessary basis for being able to engage with the world in a more outgoing way. Financial threats and bullying undermines this sense of physical and emotional security necessary for taking further steps, potentially destroying what has been already achieved.

    The preoccupation of the Tory government has been to save money spent on support for the sick and disabled to balance the books. The Labour Party shouldn’t follow the Tories along this same road. The main reasons for a rise in the numbers of people claiming benefits has nothing to do with the psychology of those making the claims and government intervention has led many to suicide.

    One of the factors driving a rise in the figures is an ageing population, the Tories count post-retirement claimants in their figures (people live longer and get sick towards the end of their lives). A second factor is high unemployment. The sick and disabled are at the back of the queue when able-bodied people can’t get jobs. In these periods, the same number of people register sick but very few can get off the register again, driving the numbers up. Although the economy as a whole may bounce back, whole areas have suffered from de-industrialisation creating a permanent problem in these areas.

    The Labour Party need to analyse the reasons for the rise in figures properly and find more appropriate solutions than punishing the claimants who depend on the support the state provides. They don’t have to follow the Tories who, in pillorying claimants, are simply seeking an excuse for making their cuts. What has been done so far has been unjust and cruel and the party should reassess its approach to the issue and abandon this course of action.

    • The thought that labour are to carry on with the same amount of hounding has left me in dispair. The thought of spending the rest of my life having to try to prove how ill I am and the endless fighting to get the support I need scares me and u wonder just how long it will take me b4 I can no longer fight any more.
      I was praying that labour would rescue me and others like me who are ill, from this hell!!
      I used to feel safe in this country but I don’t anymore.
      Instead i am left feeling frustrated, discriminated against, drained, health conditions worsening and I feel constantly hounded, harassed, bullied and worthless!!
      All I can say is ‘ god help us all!’

  14. I lost my job 3 years ago due to increasing medical and disability issues. I would love to work, but until they address how they are going to support companies to employ us who really understand disability and how diverse our needs are, what is the point??? I can imagine it now. Go to work for 4 hours doing the no physical tasks I can do. Pain flare up, chronic fatigue kicks in, meds upped me off my feet for 3 days or longer. Go back to work and repeat over and over again. What employer will put up with that???

  15. Im one of the people who has a mobility disability. I would like to get some part time work which involves sitting like receptionist or some sort of desk job. Unfortunately i went to do a degree in computing to change my career path because no one wanted to know as i am a painter and decorator. Why couldnt.they do this a long time ago. Yes there are disabled or sick peoñle that cannot work which they need to help and keep them off the breadline by giving them the benefits that they need .

  16. I know someone that has been sponging off the system for years, she decided to giver herself ME but used to be a football coach! She says that her doctor says she cannot work but to be honest the Dr can only go on what she tells him, exaggerating everything. She lives in a house (so yes she has to use the stairs quite a bit) and she is constantly saying on FB ‘I can’t work, my legs suddenly give way and I collapse’ yet there is definitely noting wrong with her, she’s more able bodied than myself! If her legs are always giving away what’s stopping her working behind a desk? Many disabled people work, why can’t she? I agree 100% that ‘genuine’ disabled people need help and their lives need to be made comfortable and not be hounded all the time but something also needs to be done about the fraudsters that never seem to want to get rid of this ‘I’m ill, I can’t work’ attitude.

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