Cash not Care: the planned demolition of the UK welfare state by Mo Stewart

On 4th October we will be supporting a book launch for Mo Stewart’s investigation into welfare reform in the UK and the role of the private insurance industry. Mo explains what motivated her to undertake the painstaking research and what it exposes.

On 4th October Inclusion London will be supporting a book launch for the long awaited publication of research by Mo Stewart into welfare reform in the UK and the role of the private insurance industry. In this blog post Mo explains what motivated her to undertake the painstaking research and what it exposes.

UPDATE: Watch the launch event here:

This is a guest post by author Mo Stewart.

 

Book cover: Cash Not Care: The planned demolition of the UK Welfare State. Mo Stewart. Image of a pile of ESA applications under a 'Rejected' stamp, with USA and UK flags leaning on the pile.The book ‘CASH NOT CARE’ was released on 14th September, eight years after I began the research, seven years after I began reporting my findings, and just over eighteen months since my last research report was published online in January 2015.

I have been surprised at the numbers of people who want to know why I would commit to such a task, rather than reacting to the often disturbing evidence exposed in what has been described as ‘forensically detailed research’.

The evidence identifies the reasons behind the imposed fear, anxiety and human suffering created by the welfare reforms and austerity measures of the Cameron governments. There is no evidence of excessive welfare spending, or large numbers of bogus claimants, that actually number no more than 0.7% of the entire welfare budget. In fact, welfare spending has halved since it was at its peak under John Major.

The reason why I did the research can be summed up in one word: OUTRAGE.

I discovered the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) by accident. I am a disabled veteran in receipt of a War Pension, which is totally unrelated to out of work benefits. Disabled out of military service in 1984, it was standard practice to request a review of the War Pension whenever the health deteriorated or the identified disability increased over time. Until 2008, all War Pension reviews were conducted by former military doctors who all treated me with respect, asked valid questions related to my health, conducted a relevant medical examination and produced an accurate medical report. This invariably increased the War Pension due to confirmed health deterioration and increasing disability. There was no suggestion that I was exaggerating my declining health.

However, in 2008, I was confronted by an unacceptable young man in the employ of Atos Healthcare, who refused to offer any form of ID when entering my home, refused to offer any eye contact during a questionnaire that was unrelated to my health, then produced a totally inaccurate report making bogus claims about a medical examination that had not taken place. As a former healthcare professional, this was totally unacceptable.

Deeply offended that this unprofessional young man had presumed to challenge my integrity, I went to war with the then Service Personnel and Veterans Agency.

Half way through this two year battle to find some form of justice, having researched Atos Healthcare and realised I had received a WCA instead of a War Pension review, I began sharing the research with other chronically sick and disabled people as the soon to be victims of this identified government funded tyranny began creating support groups across the country.

The WCA was exposed as using the totally discredited biopsychosocial (BPS) model of assessment that has no clinical credibility, and disregards both diagnosis and prognosis of any health condition. This was dangerous, and guaranteed to create preventable harm or worse to many genuinely ill and chronically disabled people.

The WCA was only possible because the John Major government invited an American insurance ‘consultant’ to advise the British government regarding ‘welfare claims management’ from 1992. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) covertly began adopting American social security policies, invited the corporate American healthcare insurance company to ‘advise’ on ‘welfare claims management’ from 1994 and a former DWP Chief Medical Officer, funded by the same American corporate insurance giant, produced a report that claimed that one million people claiming Incapacity Benefit (IB) were ‘malingering’ and could return to paid employment.

That was in 2005.

By 2007 a former City banker, David Freud, freely admitted that he knew nothing about welfare yet, when acting as a ‘consultant’ for the then New Labour party, he produced a report that also claimed that one million people claiming Incapacity Benefit should find work.

By October 2008, the fated WCA was introduced by the Brown government when following Conservative welfare policies, and the DWP began to ‘assess’ all 2.68 million IB claimants as they were gradually migrated to the new Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or on to Job Seekers Allowance for the unemployed, regardless of diagnosis or prognosis, which was to be totally disregarded by the WCA.

Evidence from the research reports has been used in every welfare reform debate in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords since 2011. Academics welcome the research, which identifies detailed academic research that the lay public don’t usually access.

It was largely due to the encouragement of academics that I was persuaded to write the book, as a permanent record of the research which identifies a time when the chronically sick and disabled British people were terrorised by the British government, using American social security policies to gradually demolish the welfare state, which was originally planned by Thatcher in years gone by.

To order a copy of ‘Cash Not Care’ see the link below:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cash-Not-Care-planned-demolition/dp/178507783X

Waterstones are offering the paperback edition with delivery within two weeks at:
https://www.waterstones.com/book/cash-not-care/mo-stewart/9781785077838

© 2016 Mo Stewart