Bernadette Meaden 150 150 Admin

Bernadette Meaden


How did Britain reach the point where thousands of seriously ill people died shortly after being declared ‘fit for work’?

How did we get to the point where a diabetic man, repeatedly sanctioned and thus unable to eat properly or to manage his condition, had to have his leg amputated? How could MPs seriously believe that slashing the already meagre incomes of people whom the government itself finds unfit to work, will ‘incentivise’ them into getting a job? How could all this happen in the name of reform? A book published this month explains in great detail the highly dubious ‘evidence’, the bogus assumptions, and especially the shadowy corporate influences which have helped to produce what has been described as a social policy disaster.

Cash not Care: the planned demolition of the UK welfare state, forensically tracks the development of UK social security policy in relation to sick and disabled people over several decades, under both Labour and Conservative governments. It reveals a common thread which runs throughout the years – the highly influential role of the private insurance industry, with calamitous results for disabled people.

The book, written by disabled researcher Mo Stewart, has already received ringing endorsements from a host of academics, disabled people’s organisations, and professionals in the area of social policy.

Sir Bert Massie, Chair of the Disability Rights Commission from 2000 – 2007 says, “Stewart names names. She shows where and how the policies originated. She destroys all claims that they were based on solid research… To understand what is happening and why, this is the book to read and I thank Mo Stewart for writing it.”

Independent researcher Catherine Hale says, “When the history of the persecution of disabled people in the name of welfare reform in Britain finally gets written for mainstream audiences, Mo Stewart’s evidence will form the starting point. Read it here first.”

Dr Simon Duffy, of the Centre for Welfare Reform, says, “I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who wants to look beyond Government rhetoric and understand what’s really going on.”

There may be many people who have supported welfare reforms affecting disabled people in good faith, for various reasons. I would challenge any of them to read this book, learn the facts, and maintain that support.

Karen Shook 150 150 Admin

Karen Shook

Commended by Danny Dorling and Sir Bert Massie, this study represents six years of self-funded research by Stewart, an independent scholar, disabled veteran and former healthcare worker. “Objective”? No. Full of heartbreaking truths? Surely. Courageous? Without a doubt. Bristling with references, footnotes, boxes, cartoons and determinedly emphatic use of boldface, this study crosses a minefield of acronyms, austerity, elected quislings and outsourced bad-deed-doers, coroners’ reports and incapacity benefit reassessments. Research done as though it were a matter of life or death – and it is.

John Pring 150 150 Admin

John Pring

“Mo Stewart has played a vital role in raising awareness of how the private sector companies have helped to both design and encourage the welfare reforms and cuts they hope to profit from. Her research has been used by MPs, peers and disabled activists to draw attention to subjects that the mainstream media has repeatedly shied away from. Without that research, we would know far less about the murky figures who have been lurking in the shadows of welfare reform in the UK for the last two decades”.

Dr Simon Duffy 150 150 Admin

Dr Simon Duffy

“Mo Stewart’s book offers its reader a compendium of the dreadful attacks on the lives and rights of disabled people in the UK today. But at its heart is one key story that describes in microcosm the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of our current political elite. The book describes how the vested interests of private insurers and the ideological commitment of extreme right-wing politicians have combined to undermine what was an essential component of our social security system – Incapacity Benefit. It is easy to become dispirited by all this – but I think Mo Stewart is right to quote Nelson Mandella: “Never underestimate the power of persistence”. This book is the fruit of Mo Stewart’s own persistence and tenacity. She has had to deal with her own disability while fighting to find the truth and I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who wants to look beyond Government rhetoric and understand what’s really going on”.

George Low 150 150 Admin

George Low

“The research undertaken is thorough and detailed making the conclusions all the more disquieting. Many of the policies, attitudes and ideologies of the UK Government revealed in ‘Cash Not Care’ will come as a shock to many people, but I feel works of this nature are essential in order to challenge the policies of the government of a supposed social democracy. The layout of the book is clear and concise, making it accessible to most readers and the stand alone nature of the chapters makes ‘Cash Not Care’ a readily accessible reference work. Given the nature of the subject matter, ‘Cash Not Care’ is a prime candidate for a version in Braille and compatibility with screen readers. To summarise, ‘Cash Not Care’ is an excellent testament to the culmination of extensive and rigorous research and groundwork and is a must read for anyone engaged in disability studies or research. Given the social interactive nature of disability most people know of, or are close to, a disabled person. Therefore, issues facing disabled people have repercussions that reach far beyond the individual. Consequently, ‘Cash Not Care’ is a book that has relevance far beyond the disabled community”.

Debbie Jolly 150 150 Admin

Debbie Jolly

“Mo Stewart’s groundbreaking and tenacious research has led the way in exposing the destructive force of the corporate state on the concept of welfare. It has traced the twists and turns of the devious tricks played on the British public. It has exposed the duplicity, harm and abuse these actions have caused to disabled people with the courage of truth. Its value cannot be overestimated and its worth must not be ignored”.

Dr Kayleigh Garthwaite 150 150 Admin

Dr Kayleigh Garthwaite

“This compelling book offers an accomplished and vital expose into how welfare reform policies are continually crushing the rights of disabled people in the UK. The book is impressively up to date and concise, no mean feat considering the minefield that has been the changing policy context for disabled people in recent years. Meticulously researched, and always passionately written, Mo tells us what it is like to be on the receiving end of the harsh and cruel regime perpetuated by the government, from a different perspective. As Mo herself clearly states, “this researcher has never claimed to be an academic”. The years of detailed research that forms the basis for the book build on Mo’s former role as a healthcare professional. This is a huge draw to the book, as it is without the reticence that academic writing is sometimes constrained by, and offers a personal element to the book that is rarely seen. ‘Cash Not Care’ will make you feel angry, sad and inspired in equal measures. This is a book that needs to be widely read and talked about”.

Professor Danny Dorling 150 150 Admin

Professor Danny Dorling

“The welfare reforms, which would be better labelled as welfare cuts, are taking place with vengeance in the UK today. Many decisions have been made and are being acted on. Because of such rapid change work published just a few years ago will now be very outdated. In the search for who has blood on their hands when it comes to dismantling the welfare state and implementing austerity, ‘Cash Not Care’ shines a light on the murky world of the private companies and their allies in the civil service. Mo’s account is both harrowing and informative, and it is urgently needed.”

Sir Bert Massie 150 150 Admin

Sir Bert Massie

“The disability benefits system is a result of decades of campaigning by disabled people. Those benefits are under attack as never before as the Government targets them in a quest to reduce the welfare state. The latest is the plan to abolish the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) on the grounds that this will encourage disabled people to seek work. Motivation is not the problem but the loss of ESA will impose such financial hardship on many that they will be unable to afford to seek work.

Government is entitled to ensure that benefits are given to those with a genuine entitlement and to assess people. But the process must be professional and honest. In this book Mo Stewart peels back the layers of deception, and the confused thinking that underpins the destruction of social support for disabled people. She shows how an American insurance company has contributed to this as it sought to expand its market to the UK. Disabled people are expected to undergo medical assessment to claim benefits, but the people conducting them seem to know little about disabled people or disability in general.

Inept assessments result in loss of benefits with money withdrawn from disabled people. Some of those assessed as fit for work died just afterwards. Others died later and some committed suicide. This callous and cruel policy is fully supported by the UK Government, who argue that they are concentrating resources at those with the greatest need but provide no evidence. Yet in doing so they are condemning disabled people to greater poverty and more limited lives. Stewart names names. She shows where and how the policies originated. She destroys all claims that they were based on solid research. And she vividly paints a clear picture of how disabled people are the group chosen to pay for bankers’ greed and stupidity in 2008, as government slashes expenditure. To understand what is happening and why, this is the book to read and I thank Mo Stewart for writing it”.