Our December Book of the Month is Cash not Care: the planned demolition of the UK welfare state. The author, Mo Stewart, is a former healthcare professional, a disabled female veteran, and an independent researcher.
This book is the culmination of six years of self-funded research and the evidence exposes the influence since the early 1990s of the private health insurance industry and a US corporate insurance giant in particular, on UK Government welfare policy.
Working with successive governments and drawing on the work of the UnumProvident Centre for Psychosocial and Disability Research at the University of Cardiff, the ultimate result was the replacement of Incapacity Benefit with the Employment Support Allowance (ESA) awarded to claimants on the basis of the flawed and widely criticised Work Capability Assessment (WCA).
The book also examines the impact of the enforced austerity measures of successive UK governments and how they seriously and negatively affect the welfare and survival of the chronically sick and disabled population in receipt of welfare benefits when unfit to work.
The author’s research has informed welfare reform debates in the House of Lords and the House of Commons since 2011 and contributed to the evidence used by the United Nations to investigate the UK government for breaches of the Human Rights of sick and disabled people. Endorsed by the disabled community and by academics, the research examines the adoption of welfare “reforms” based on American welfare policies that were recognised as causing suffering and distress to thousands of the most vulnerable citizens.
Driven on by the constant toxic rhetoric from government ministers and the DWP, enthusiastically supported by elements of the national press claiming that a vast number of chronically sick and disabled people were ‘shirkers and scroungers’, the book details how over the past twenty years the UK welfare state has been systematically demolished and ‘disability denial’ has become the new norm. For Mo’s publications see here.