70% of Fit for Work Assessments In Scotland Overturned On Appeal
The cruel ‘Fit for Work’ system was dealt another blow today as FOI requests revealed that 70% of all assessments were overturned on appeal.
The scale of the failure is shocking. It is exceedingly difficult to imagine any other government initiative that failed 70% of the time being carried forward. Scottish Labour said that the process only increased stress and anxiety for those involved, and called for the assessments to be abolished.
These figures match those confirmed to the Robin by a source in Unite Community - over 65% of all benefit sanctions that the union has appealed have also been overturned. The entire culture and procedures of the DWP are currently under scrutiny after it was confirmed last year that staff are given an official target to reject 80% of all benefit claimants.
The use of private contractors to carry out assessments has already been banned in Holyrood. But the SNP’s decision to delay devolution of welfare powers leaves many claimants still at the receiving end of the cruel Tory system. A radical is shake up is sorely needed.
Scottish Labour MP for Midlothian Danielle Rowley said:
“These figures show that work capability assessments just aren’t working.
“An overwhelming majority of people in Scotland are being wrongly judged fit for work. That simply isn’t good enough.
“That’s what happens when our social security system chases profits before the wellbeing of people.
“Tory austerity just isn’t working. These assessments aren’t just an example of cruel policy, they are an example of failing policy and should be scrapped."