Monday, 5 December 2011

DWP get sums wrong on ESA - By 1 Billion!!

DWP's billion pound mistake on sickness and disability benefits: government forced to revise up forecast spending on ESA



The independent Office for Budget Responsibility has said that spending on Employment Support Allowance will be £1bn higher in 2014/15 than previously forecast by the government. It says that this is because fewer people are expected to be assessed as 'fit for work'  and more people are expected to be given unconditional support than the government had previously assumed.

This is a major revision to DWP's earlier forecast of £9.7bn ESA expenditure in 2014/15.

The OBR says ''ESA changes have resulted in an increase in expenditure of £1bn by 2015/16 *

They go on  to say 'The latest administrative data suggests that fewer people than previously assumed will be judged 'fit for work 'as a resut of the initial ESA work capabability assessment and reassessment of incapacity benefit cases, and more will be placed in the support group.This accounts for four fifths of the increase.'

That sounds a bit wonkish doesn't it? Trust me, this is fascinating news! What it means is that the government has to find a billion pounds more than the Chancellor included in his calculations to spend on Employment Support Allowance. And what that means is that a billion pounds more has to be spent on ESA mainly because the DWP will not be able to find as many people fit for work or 'work-related activity' through their work capability assessments as they'd claimed.

So although they aren't saying this explicitly, the DWP would seem to be admitting that their previous assumptions about how many people were able to work were grossly exaggerated. This implies that thousands of sick and disabled people have been wrongly denied ESA over the last three years and thousands placed in the Work Related Activities Group who should have been put in the Support Group and given unconditional support

It's not hard to see the reasons for this change. Since the first report of the Harrington review of the WCA last year, many more people have been placed in the ESA support group than previously, and fewer found fit for work. It is clear now that the WCA has been a disaster, driven by lazy assumptions about claimants and spending targets plucked out of the air.

However, the government is still going ahead with its plans to time limit contributory ESA to just 12 months for people in the WRAG and to deny contributory ESA to people who have been disabled from childhood.

*in fact, their tables show the increase is £1bn by 2014/15 p.146-7

**x-posted from benefitscroungingscum.blogspot.com

17 comments:

  1. The money will probably be spent on creating a camp to round everyone up into and then they can really put up their slogan of how "work sets you free!"

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  2. Wow! Does this mean an end to the government propaganda depicting us all as blaggers?. Perhaps it also suggests there will less bile in the tabloids about benefit fraud and scroungers? Here's hoping!

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  3. Yes IDS did say last month that care in the community was a £100 Billion failure. Perhaps he believes a return to the workhouse or camps is indeed the solution?

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  4. anonymous 17.49 - Say WHAT??? I missed that one are you sure? That is really very scary have you got a link?

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  5. I hate to say, I told you so, Mr Duncan Smith, but, I told you so. Nob!

    Why do they not listen to people who work in this area, who know, who have experience?

    Nope. The Tories know better, straight out of Eton, up to Oxford, straight into politics and... goodness, they know everything about everything. And just because the rest of us went to an ordinary school and an ordinary university and have never been to Cannes, we are assumed to know nothing about anything.

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  6. Sorry no link. If you Google "Care in the community failure" it should show either the Guardian article or the one in the Mail. It was 31st of October- I think. It did make me concerned about what his answer was, bearing in mind the amount of service users who have lost ESA and had to appeal. If he takes away our means to live independently in the community what does he plan to do with us? The new figures, however, at least provide some hope for the sick and disabled.

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  7. "thousands placed in the Work Related Activities Group who should have been put in the Support Group and given unconditional support" - my son being one of these. He is unable to appeal himself (never leaves the house) and I'm still trying to find out whether I will be allowed to do it on his behalf. I do not have Power of Attorney - I'm merely his appointee. And I hear they have doubled the budget for the opening ceremony for the olympics...

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  8. The whole notion of millionaire Oxbridge educated career politicians fills me with terror. Would these idiots be able to function in a real job? The power they wield and the decisions they make?! So divorced from reality!

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  9. Yes as much as it's nice to have the Olympics, there are countless more urgent things these idiots could be spending the money on. They promote these cuts and austerity, where it's arguable the Olympics could have been cancelled, considering many people are literally dieing because of the governments savage benefit cuts.

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  10. The words "The government were forced" always beings a smile to my lips. Pity they cant be forced to show compassion. If they did they would relook at people previously found fit for work who must be going through awful amounts of stress

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  11. When will they get rid of the low rates of DLA .iS PIP GOING TO BE TWO RATES INSTEAD.

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  12. Dont bet on them not using this to justify further cuts so they can tell the public its not true that they have to find another odd billion as they got thier figures wrong.They will spin it to be sure....All they have to do to find the money is tax ONE banks bonus amount (5 billion hsbc)for one year at 20% and bingo they have it ....

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  13. Brilliant news. Keep up the good work Sue and everyone else involved.

    Between this and the announcement about DLA mobility component is seems like the war is being very slowly won. Keep struggling guys. My prayers and best wishes are with you.

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  14. Good to hear from you Stephen. Glad you still check in.

    Your prayers and best wishes much appreciated.

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  15. For twenty four years I paid into this country including six years in HM Armed Forces, illness forced me to take a back step, illness in the form of a nervous breakdown caused by the attempted murder of myself, job loss and marriage break up. For four years I have been a scrounger, a situation where I feel I am not wanted by this country, I have fulfilled my use and am now not required, the benefit reforms say so much. I admit I contemplate suicide on a regular basis, but I vow when the time comes, in my note to all will be a letter to the PM thanking him for being the motivational force to get me out of this ever increasing cruel country.

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  16. QUOTE]Anonymous has left a new comment on the post "DWP get sums wrong on ESA - By 1 Billion!!":

    For twenty four years I paid into this country including six years in HM Armed Forces, illness forced me to take a back step, illness in the form of a nervous breakdown caused by the attempted murder of myself, job loss and marriage break up. For four years I have been a scrounger, a situation where I feel I am not wanted by this country, I have fulfilled my use and am now not required, the benefit reforms say so much. I admit I contemplate suicide on a regular basis, but I vow when the time comes, in my note to all will be a letter to the PM thanking him for being the motivational force to get me out of this ever increasing cruel country.[/QUOTE]

    I know how you feel it is only the last few years i have felt like that and yes it is hard to believe that this country led by David Cameron has stooped so low the much darker side is that the general public and press has taken his side but they will all be proved wrong at a later date and then they themselves will have to live with the consequences of their actions by voting for a party with only one thing they have ever had on their mind which power and money

    For the British people and their knowledge of the conservative party it would seam that the penny takes a long time in dropping but dropping it eventually does

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  17. I'm touched you remember me Sue. I'm glad to see you're still fighting onward. Hope your moving house went well & you're all settled in now.

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