Peter Hoskin

More grist for the welfare reform mill

More grist for the welfare reform mill
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How many incapacity benefit claimants could actually work? Well, we get a sense of the answer with some figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions today. They show that, of the people who have gone through the new Work Capability Assessments so far, some three-quarters are able to look for a job. Scale that up for everyone on incapacity benefits, and it suggests that around 1.8 million claimants could return to the labour market.

Although the numbers are eye-catching, they're not entirely surprising: similar figures were published when the WCA was introduced under Labour.  And it could be worth holding fire until the necessary review of those assessment tests has reported back later this year.  But, for now, this is yet another reminder of the necessity for comprehensive reform – and one which will be welcomed by the coalition.