The new fit for work tests are not fit for purpose – and at double the cost

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The new fit for work tests are not fit for purpose – and at double the cost

Despite the DWP spending more on disability assessments than it’s saving in cuts, the quality hasn’t improved. It is the political equivalent of burning £50 notes

Disabled people protest at parliament about the loss of the independent living fund
‘The DWP is handing £1.6bn of public money over three years to private contractors. Yet none of the companies met the government’s own quality assessment threshold.’ Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA

What is most damning about the NAO’s findings isn’t that the disability assessment system is haemorrhaging money (the cost of carrying out each employment and support allowance test has risen from £115 to £190). It is that higher spending isn’t creating a competent or ethical assessment. The NAO found that as the government has spent more the quality of the much-maligned tests hasn’t improved.

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