Sunday 9 April 2017

Tory economics: Save £6,000 in benefit payments at a cost of only £65,000

Jan Davies suffers from multiple sclerosis but she has a job working for HMRC in East Kilbride which she commutes to four days a week. In March 2017 the DWP informed her that she was being stripped of her disability benefits after a snap reassessment of her benefits claim had found that she does not need her motability car in order to live independently.

After taking advice from her local MP Jan turned to the DWP's Access to Work scheme, which subsequently awarded her £65,133.71 over the course of three years in order to pay for taxis to and from work!

In order to save the £6,000 it would have cost to let Jan keep her motability car the Tory administered DWP are willing to shell out over ten times the amount on paying taxis to chauffeur her to and from work!

This is astounding stuff from the Tories. They love to dress themselves up as "the party of economic competence", but this case makes it look like their campaign of confiscating an average of 800 motability cars a week is motivated more by malice than any intention to actually save money.

The ridiculous decision to snatch Jan's motability car to save less than £6,000 and then stump up over £65,000 for taxis also makes a mockery of the Tories absurd "making work pay" rhetoric too. The only people this farce seems to be making work pay for are the taxi companies of Ayrshire.

This farcical situation is far from the only example of Tories creating ridiculous false economies. Back in 2010 the Tory environment minister Caroline Spelman decided to save money by slashing flood defence spending, despite the evidence showing that every £1 spent on flood defences saves £8 in future economic damage. Over the next few years various parts of the UK to be hit by huge floods, including places that had their flood defence renewal schemes cancelled by Spelman's bonkers austerity cuts. In August 2016 she was rewarded for this lunacy with a DBE!

It's also worth remembering that various other aspects of the Tories' welfare reforms cost way more than they save. The demeaning, dehumanising and discriminatory Work Capacity Assessment regime costs way more in corporate outsourcing fees than it can ever possibly save in reduced benefits payments, and the Tories' savage sanctions regime also costs way more to administer than it saves in reduced welfare payments.

Jan is just one amongst tens of thousands of disabled people who have had their motability cars confiscated by the Tories. Given their outrageous track record of wasting taxpayers money on malicious and misguided schemes it would take wilful ignorance to excuse this case as an isolated case of incompetence, and a great deal of gullibility to continue believing in the myth of Tory economic competence.

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