Sunday, January 19, 2020

Esther McVey’s claim that UK disability benefits are ‘generous’ has been firmly debunked

UK disability benefits are actually among the 'least generous' when compared to other OECD countries.

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Former DWP Secretary Esther Mcvey MP is no stranger to controversy and has a history of misleading (some would say “lying”) to parliament over the impact of welfare changes.

But the Tory leadership candidate, who is seen by disability rights campaigners as one of the most cruel politicians of recent times, has reiterated a previous claim that UK welfare benefits are among the most “generous” when compared to other developed countries.

Former Work and Pensions Secretary, Esther McVey MP. Photo: Public Domain.

When questioned about her time at the DWP, Ms McVey told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme that the UK is “one of the most generous countries in our support for disabled people”.

However, Channel 4 has taken the time to fact check this outrageous claim, finding that Britain’s disability benefits are actually among the least generous when compared to many other countries.

Source: Channel 4 Fact Check.

Channel 4 contacted McVey’s office and challenged them to provide evidence to prove her claim, but were told they were unable to provide said evidence and were invited to “fact check and see where the UK ranks in the world for this”.

A DWP spokesperson told Channel 4 that “we spend £55 billion on benefits to support disabled people and those with health conditions — more than ever before”

Researchers for Channel 4 took up the challenge and found that whilst the UK is second only to Germany in the G7 a closer look at the value of disability benefits among all OECD countries places the UK’s as one of the least generous towards disabled people.

Their investigation found that the value of disability benefits in the UK is ranked second among the G7, but 24th out of 36 in the OECD as a whole.

The UK spends just 1.9% of GDP on “sickness, disability and occupational injury” support, which is below the OECD average.

Furthermore, Channel 4 found that “when it comes to disability-related cash payments, like tax credits and Personal Independence Payments, the UK languishes near the bottom of the table in 27th place”.

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