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Political rift over work capability tests

Beecroft and Henderson clash in Tynwald

A political row has broken out about the way work capability tests are being carried out in the Island.

South Douglas MHK Kate Beecroft called on Tynwald to halt the assessments, and for a parliamentary committee to examine the process from top-to-bottom.

The court side-stepped her motion, voting to defer the matter for a month.

Concerns about the fit-for-work tests will be reviewed by social security officials. 

During the debate, Mrs Beecroft said she knew of an Island resident with a life-threatening condition who had been deemed fit for work, and had his incapacity benefit stopped.

She was close to tears quoting a letter from the man's wife.

Capability tests are currently being carried out for the Manx government by Dependability Ltd.

Those deemed fit for work are moved from incapacity benefits to Jobseeker's allowance - but can lodge an appeal. 

It's understood around 50% of appeals are upheld.

Bill Henderson MLC, who has responsibility for the assessments, defended the process in Tynwald. 

He told James Davis misinformation had muddied the waters.

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