Written by Josh_Cluderay
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Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith has outlined a new philosophy on benefit claimants while talking to the BBC, suggesting that anyone well enough to claim benefits probably doesn't need them.

Speaking of people with mental health issues he said: "If you suffer from depression, it can be extremely difficult to find work, and you may find yourself needing help from the state. Having to then contend with an humongous pile of paperwork, a gruelling interview, and several accusations about your character can be even more demoralising. In fact, anyone who survives this process and successfully claims a benefit has basically proven themselves to be much healthier than they think, and can immediately have their benefits taken away again."

He expressed similar sentiments on the disabled: "This government has worked hard to reform accessibility to hospitals and job centres around the country. We've removed ramps, increased the number of steps, and made the doors almost impossibly heavy. You practically have to be an Olympic athlete to get inside now, which means anyone who does make it in is declared to be in great physical shape and is automatically disqualified from getting benefits."

So far so good, but what of the people who don't make it? Duncan Smith was passionate on this point. "People with mental issues so severe they can barely face the outside world, people with disabilities so crippling that they can't even make it up a couple of steps, let alone trudge all the way across town to a health assessment, people who have attempted to get into one of our new reinforced job centres but ended up collapsed on the street crying - these are the people that need to be receiving benefits. And I am passionately committed to helping them."

"Unfortunately," he added, "we have no idea who they are. They should really come in and let us know."

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