the void

Today’s Daily Mail attempt to smear sickness benefit claimants as criminals shows just how desperate ministers are becoming as welfare reform turns into on ongoing farce.

According to the Mail, 23% of all sickness benefit claimants have a criminal record of some form, including a police caution.  According to the Chris Grayling comedy show this is ‘truly alarming’.  What’s alarming in fact is how law abiding sickness benefit claimants appear to be.

According to this Chartered Institute of Professional Development report (PDF)  aimed at encouraging employers to hire people with criminals records, as many as 25% of the general population has a criminal record. As those in receipt of sickness benefit are likely to be poorer than the general population, it might have been reasonable to assume a higher percentage of claimants may have been convicted of a crime.

Many people on sickness benefits have a mental health condition.  It…

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