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I fear this reminds me very much of the cuts to mental health provision in the 80s under Thatcher.

Let's be very clear, many of the mental institutions that were closed desperately needed to be closed - they were barbaric places and I don't think they could even have been reformed.

But - despite all the promises - "care in the community" actually meant "no care" and many people ended up homeless - many died of cold and hunger in great distress.

I don't know how we fight this tactic more than we fight it already.

I'd guess that mainstreaming needs to be linked to the rest of a left of centre economic agenda.

Equally, perhaps it would have been better to campaign to keep Remploy at least until general unemployment was below a decent threshold. Throwing any people into the job market at this time is a cruelty, because the truth is that there are few jobs out there.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Thu Mar 15th, 2012 at 05:33:24 AM EST
perhaps it would have been better to campaign to keep Remploy at least until general unemployment was below a decent threshold

In some respects, this has been happening in Wales in terms of politicians, Remploy and unions trying to secure alternatives (social enterprise, "Remploy Wales") but the 7 factories to be closed here made a loss of £7m last year between them.  Not a gap the Welsh Government can fill and no funds will be passed over to Wales to support our factories.

BBC News - Remploy closures: Devolution idea for Welsh factories rejected

The UK government has again rejected a request to devolve responsibility to the Welsh government for Remploy factories which are set to close.

In the House of Lords, Labour peer Lord Touhig raised the Welsh government's offer to take over the budget with UK government whip Lord de Mauley.

The timing is absolutely appalling and the Sayce Review has been heavily criticised for recommending the closure of the factories.  Liz Sayce is a high profile disability rights campaigner and the Government has quite happily hijacked the aspirations for genuine mainstreaming of employment opportunities to suit their agenda.

The reality is, even when employment rates were higher before the crisis, the world of work wasn't inclusive very often. There is no real political push to actually recognise the situation and invest in the infrastructure needed to make a real difference for disabled people trying to access the labour market.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 15th, 2012 at 12:45:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You're absolutely right that the world of work was far from inclusive, even when the economy was better but it's worth pointing our that the loss of £7 million is a very biased figure in the current economy.

In the current economy we can virtually guarantee that each person will end up on benefits. So there won't be a saving of £7 million...

Taking this From a Guardian article:

The average subsidy for each job in the factories is £25,000 a year.

I don't know the benefits levels of the typical Remploy worker, but I'm sure some interesting calculations could be done, especially if we throw in externalities (like extra health care required because of not working, etc.)

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Thu Mar 15th, 2012 at 02:37:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well someone calculated a couple of years ago that the cost is 21,300,

The only way to cut government debt is to increase government spending » Tax Research UK

The total lost to the government if this person loses their job in the private sector is the addition of the total contribution lost plus the total cost paid. That is £21,300.

 but they appear to have avoided the admin costs required

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 15th, 2012 at 04:00:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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