"Young people in the UK are twice as likely as their counterparts in other rich countries to be so seriously ill or incapacitated that they cannot work and must live off disability benefits, an international study on welfare has found."
Surely that should read: "Young people in the UK are twice as likely as their counterparts in other rich countries to claim to be so seriously ill or incapacitated that they cannot work and must live off disability benefits, an international study on welfare has found."
"The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said it was an "extremely worrying fact" that among 20- to 34- year-olds, rates for disability payments are around 2% in most countries, but 4% in the UK."
"Chris Grayling, the work and pensions minister, said he thought the high rates in the UK were a result of 'more children growing up in workless households than in other parts of Europe. Growing up with high levels of dependency shapes your outlook.'
Around 2 million children live in households where no one works – one in six youngsters in Britain. This rate is almost twice the EU average."
Sounds about right - so why not (a) make it so that benefits are always worse than working, by a significant amount (ffs, it's meant to be a safety net, not a hammock) and (b) discourage the continued spawning by those who are not working (when the system makes it impossible for people in low paying jobs to afford kids, but those with no jobs are advantaged by having kids, something is wrong)
"The report says ... there has been a "big shift" in the reasons for making a disability benefit claim. Mental health problems have replaced physical causes for long-term sickness payments."
That might be because we're checking for physical problems now. If you can fake a mental illness, you've got it made.
"In Britain, two-fifths of those claiming benefits because of depression or mental health issues are aged between 20 and 34."
"Professor Malcolm Harrington, the occupational health specialist tasked with improving the government's medical assessments, has told ministers that 'people do not attempt to get benefits by pretending they are mentally ill'."
Oh, well that's ok then. He's a Professor, so he must know what he's talking about...
"In the mid-eighties, the number of people receiving unemployment benefit was "three or four times" higher than those claiming disability benefit. But an inexorable rise in claims saw the number of people on disability benefits exceed the number of unemployed in 1997.
Today 7% of Britons of working age receive disability benefit, above the OECD average of 5.7%. In Japan the comparable figure is less than 2%."
WTF? 7% of our working age population are apparently so disabled that they can't work? Seriously, that can't be right. And there were more people disabled than unemployed? I really hope that's no longer true...
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