Call for private disability insurance
PEOPLE should be allowed to “opt out” of contributions to the main disability benefit and use the money to pay for private disability insurance instead, a think tank has said.
Allowing opt-outs from the contributory Employment and Support Allowance would create a system of private insurers funding services to help individuals rehabilitate and reintegrate into the labour market where possible, and income replacement where not, said the Institute for Economic Affairs in a new report.
The IEA also called for the decentralisation of the disability benefit system, with programmes delegated to the local level and funded through a mixture of local taxation and central government grants.
This would allow local areas to decide whether and how to outsource programmes to support disabled people in finding employment, creating a wider variety of approaches, the report said.
Despite overall improvements in the nation’s health, the IEA calculated that annual payments on disability-related benefits have risen from about £2 billion at today’s prices after the Second World War to £37 billion now.
The think tank said the current disability support system is too complex. IT is The Herald’s policy to correct errors as soon as we can and all corrections and clarifications will usually appear on this page.
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