Thursday, 8 October 2009

Incapacity Benefit and the Tory Cunts

There have been a couple of excellent and interesting posts on the subject from Tangled Weeds and Aethelread.

This has been on my mind the last day or so, (separately to the DLA/AA issue), and what prompted my maths (ahem) brain (ahem) to get working was the feeling that people were saying 'It will cost too much therefore it won't happen.'

My gut instinct was that it wouldn't cost very much, and the apparent savings, by which I mean the savings on paper for 'that policy', far outweigh the administrative costs.

I've attached the slew of comments I added to Aethelread's post below. I'm afraid they show the way my mind works all too well. I know I know the answer, but I have to do an impression of a rubber ball fired by a cannon in a fives court before I get to the answer. See why I went nuts again when Mr Taxman made me do my accounts in the spring?

The conclusion is this: despite the very low figure for IB fraud (as if it is easy to con all the doctors and psychiatrists!), the policy is that 20% are to be branded shysters and fraudsters and thieves and villains.

That means many ill people are going to be starved back to work, or into hospital, or into worse health, or into many other horrible states which will end up costing the government money.

But on paper, hey, the policy will be deemed successful.

And it was a Labour Policy to start with.

FUCK THE LOT OF THEM. I'm voting with my Molotov.

Comments I spewed all over Aethelread's. Sorry Aethelread. Feel free to tidy up. :-)

abysmal musings, on October 7th, 2009 at 11:44 pm Said:

Using my business head – rusty, but still alive, like a foul old reptile that I haven’t quite slain…

I calculate they will break even between weeks 158 and 159, and make a weekly saving of £533,280 after that (not adjusted for inflation). My forecast does not cost for their extra MOT centres.

So, ignoring that aspect, their forecast only overruns two weeks based on the forecast of the figures you’ve sensibly estimated.

In other words, it all sounds horribly plausible.

Where we really need to look and raise our voices is the extra costs to the NHS that will ensue from this policy.

Sorry to piss on the bonfire.
abysmal musings, on October 7th, 2009 at 11:46 pm Said:

Forget that.

Rusty old head.

Back to the spreadsheet!
abysmal musings, on October 8th, 2009 at 12:00 am Said:

Well, firstly I forgot to times the per-person weekly saving by the £25 they want to dock.

But even so, that doesn’t go far enough.

My maths is a bit like action painting. It takes me a while to see the picture, but I get there in the end.

The point is, and the really pertinent pointy point is that if they shunt half a million IB claimants to the tune of £25 weekly each, that is a weekly saving of £12,500,000. Soon pays for that 14 mill a year (plus extras).

Sorry to make a mess of your comments.

Take care, Dx
abysmal musings, on October 8th, 2009 at 12:12 am Said:

I’ve straightened out the spreadsheet. They break even in week 6. Which funnily was where they broke even on the scribbled graph estimatation my wife and I did by the fire half an hour ago.


Sometimes I think technology just complicates our lives.
abysmal musings, on October 8th, 2009 at 12:19 am Said: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Spreadsheet: (xls):



Morte said...

With you on the molotov.

Kate said...

The other thing that occurs to me is the potential knock-on effect on IB claimant's DLA. Given that a proportion of IB claimants will also be in receipt of one or more components of DLA, I'm wondering whether those deemed fit-for-work in this new 'scheme' might not also have their DLA claims brought under scrutiny at some time or other. Someone entitled to the middle-rate care componant of DLA (£47.10) also gets the severe-disability premium (currently £52.85 per week)which works to top-up IB/ESA (currently with Income support or pension credit)and housing benefit. Were they to be demoted to job-seekers (automatially loosing £25) might they then face loosing a further £100 a week if their DLA claim was re assessed? I'm only speculating and trotting out 'worst-scenarios' but I know from past experience, my imagined 'worse scenarios' in these affairs have sooner or later turned out to be a reality. The savings made on cuts as drastic as this would certainly fund all those extra medical assessments.
Another thing - Aethelred pointed out the disinsentive to get people onto JSA with regards to inflating the unemployment statistics. However, the impetus behind these policies and the funding they brag about throwing at them is to get people onto 'back-to-work, training, 'condition management' schemes and work-trials (that's where you get to work for an employer for a few weeks on the same amount as you were getting on benefits. After that period, the employer gets to decide whether they want to take you on. You have no choice in the matter either way). Sooner or later everyone on JSA will have 6 months to find work before being forced onto one of these programmes, at which point they aren't technically classed as 'unemployed' and thus off the statistics. So really, it'll ultimately lead to a lowering of the unemployment statistics as people drop in and out of schemes, apprentiships, 'work-trials' and actual paid employment with contracts of varying length.

aethelreadtheunread said...

Great post, as per usual! Also, it's very brave of you to show your working - i never do that, which is how i sometimes manage to seem halfway coherent. (For example, i spent about 5 hours working on the 1000ish words of my post, which works out at slightly over 3 words a minute. Even this comment i will proof-read about 8 bazillion times before i click on publish...) :o)

I wasn't meaning to say that the amounts of money involved in DC's scheme would make it impossible, although i can see that it seems like that was what i was saying. The point of my conclusion, really, was to point out that, if DC had been honest about the administrative costs of his proposals, it would have made it appear in a very different light. I think the serious obstacles to it happening are

1 - logistics. 208 new medical examination centres - it would take the best part of 5 years to get them up and running, even if they were fast-tracked.

2 - adding that number of people to the JSA figures. I've read Kate's comment above, and I take your point. The thing is, if you increase the total number of people on the JSA merry-go-round, you increase the number of people who will be on JSA at any one time (even though you also increase the number of people on the various schemes). Moving people from IB to JSA will still make things look worse. (For what it's worth, i think the true purpose of the new deal is revealed by the fact that companies and charities are encouraged to get people into work lasting 6 months, not permanent jobs. 6 months would be just long enough for people to count as fresh JSA claims, and so have a sizeable impact on the apparent number of long-term unemployed.)

Bottom line - i just don't think this is going to happen. It could happen - there's no insurmountable obstacle that makes it impossible - but i still don't think it will. Apart from anything else, who are they going to use for whipping boys and girls if they can't get the boot into the sick and the disabled? Cynical? Me?

Sorry for writing an essay in your comments.

David said...

I hope you're right.

I have to stop getting angry over this stuff. It doesn't do me any good. But then again, it's pretty infuriating, so where is my little lovely handy switch I flick to not get angry?

Ostrich time?