Majority of Paralympians fit enough to work, insists Iain Duncan-Smith
Iain Duncan Smith is considering radical proposals to stop disability payments to paralympians who spend their days idling away in wheelchairs when not competing in London 2012, it has emerged.
The Work and Pensions Secretary is believed to have won the support of the Coalition to target inspirational athletes with a broad spectrum of disabilities who take the benefits system for all they can get.
Earlier this week Duncan Smith threatened to suspend the Blue Badge scheme after he was unable to park his Mercedes at the Olympic Stadium owing to the number of disabled parking spaces...
In an appeal to the rightwing of his party, the Tory diehard warned that para-athletes who fail to provide sufficient evidence that they have been actively seeking work could have their wheelchairs clamped on arriving at the Olympic Stadium.
Unfortunately, like many things in Newsthump, this can hardly compete with the real thing. Recently, Torygraph columnist Cristina Odone wrote an article entitled 'The disability lobby should think twice before opposing necessary reforms' - I won't link to it, but it's easily found including such statements as:
'But wait. The disability lobby is the first to claim that disabled people should not be presumed incapable simply because of their condition. They're right, of course. Aren't the Paralympics proof that even the most physically challenged can achieve awesome feats? Their disabilities did not prevent Nelson, Byron, FDR, JFK from achieving their goals.
The question surely should be what can the disabled do, rather than what can't they do. For this, their champions should welcome a system that encourages the disabled to keep working.
The medical tests may need adjusting, to reduce genuine danger to health – though some medical emergencies cannot be foreseen by even the most skilled doctor. But disability campaigners must realise that their prized autonomy comes at a price, though: they cannot automatically equate being disabled with being dependent on welfare.'
GAAAAH! (Apart from all else, she seems to be deliberately confusing the DLA, which is not restricted to the unemployed, with invalidity benefit).