14 October 2009
What: The tabloid claims that 75% of those on sick benefits are “faking” and that “Labour’s failure to crack down on scroungers has let three-quarters of incapacity benefit claimants get away with faking their illnesses”. The newspaper runs the story, even though at this point not a single incapacity benefit claimant has been assessed under the new WCA. The figures the article references instead relate to the number of new claimants put through the WCA, and the journalist – who would later become a special advisor to Boris Johnson – also admits that actually only 36 per cent of those assessed had been found “fit for work”.
Why significant: One of the most significant tabloid articles that would lay the groundwork for the Conservative-led coalition to secure public support for an even harsher and more dangerous regime of welfare reforms and cuts under Iain Duncan Smith.