Last week, Carshalton and Wallington MP Tom Brake called out the Department of Work and Pensions for hiring private contractors, with poor reputations and little commitment to the public, to conduct work capability assessments for people seeking Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).
ESA offers both financial support and employment assistance to ill and disabled people. To claim ESA, individuals are required to have a work capability assessment that judges the extent of their illness or disability.
Hiring profit-driven private assessors often leads to constituents’ needs being disregarded. Public sector workers would be much better suited to carrying out the assessments to ensure the best quality, consideration and results for those needing ESA.
Carshalton and Wallington MP Tom Brake said:
"Far too often I hear from local people who feel ignored, insulted and interrogated by private assessors who dismiss their concerns and conditions.
"The Government’s use of private firms has affected residents of Carshalton and Wallington for far too long and they need to take urgent action to fix it. On top of that, this poor policy is wasting money that could be better invested in other programmes which would be of more use to residents.
"I challenged the DWP Minister Sarah Newton about this and she simply dismissed my request stating that the Government are 'constantly working to improve our processes'. This isn’t good enough. Carshalton and Wallington residents deserve to be shown respect during these work capability assessments."