Protest resignation over fit-for-work test for disabled people

A charity chief executive has resigned from a government panel in protest at an ‘inhumane system’ that is designating severely ill and disabled people as being fit to work. Paul Farmer, chief executive of the mental health charity Mind, who was a member of the panel responsible for monitoring the new fitness-for-work test, the work capability assessment (WCA), said that the government was ignoring growing expressions of alarm over the reliability of the test. Farmer said:

I’ve moved from being puzzled about the reluctance to change, to being increasingly frustrated. I genuinely don’t understand why the government doesn’t just pause the process and reflect on why it’s not working.

In his resignation letter, Farmer told the employment minister:

We have reached the point where we feel that the lack of progress in improving the system and the lack of willingness to consider more fundamental reform makes our involvement in this element of the process no longer tenable.

A report on the resignation (10 April 2012) can be read on the Guardian website.