IDS tells AA the government will help get addicts back to work
Fri, 25 May 2012
The government is committed to encouraging drug users and alcoholics back to work, says Iain Duncan Smith, the secretary of state for Work and Pensions.
Giving a speech at an Alcoholics Anonymous event in Parliament earlier this week, he said that the present “outdated”, benefits system “fails to get people off drugs and put their lives on track”.
Around 80% of the UK’s estimated 400,000 ‘problem drug users’ are claiming out-of-work benefits, while 40,000 claimants of incapacity benefits have alcoholism as their primary diagnosis – 13,300 of whom have been claiming for over a decade.
Universal Credit, introduced in February last year, co-ordinates different support and benefits into a single system, and the new system has “started changing how addicts are supported, but we must go further to actively take on the devastation that drugs and alcohol can cause”.
Aside from Universal Credit, the government has also educated Jobcentre Plus staff further on substance dependency and allowed Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) claimants with such conditions early access to the Work Programme, among other measures.