Coalition warned over incapacity benefits 'failure'

Carrot didn't work as well as the stick for incapacity benefit claimants - PAC
Carrot didn't work as well as the stick for incapacity benefit claimants - PAC

By politics.co.uk staff

Reforms to the benefits system should bear in mind the Labour government's failure to transform the number of people claiming incapacity benefit, a major Commons committee has found.

MPs on the public accounts committee suggested the £750 million spent on the Pathways to Work scheme was not necessarily good value for money after reducing the number of claimants, totalling 2.5 million, by just 125,000 between 2005 and 2009.

It criticised the Department for Work and Pensions for not monitoring whether all those who had received early medical assessments had moved into work or on to other benefits criticised private providers for having "seriously underperformed" against their contracts.


Committee chair Margaret Hodge said: "The DWP deserves credit for attempting to tackle the intractable problem of moving people from incapacity benefits into work.

"But its key programme for doing so, Pathways to Work, was not well implemented and has had limited effect."

She said "the carrots offered were less effective than the sticks employed" and recommended making more use of JobCentre Plus resources to tackle the problem.

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