After writing the previous entry I sent an email to the Centre for Social Justice. I complained about them using false statements about DLA to further their own ideological interests (copying the email to my MP).
A researcher has replied to me today. Here are some extracts from their email:
"The piece you refer to was written by an MP who took part in our Inner City Challenge. This aims to give MPs first hand experience of working with people in our most disadvantaged communities, and should help to reduce misconceptions about people, and the challenges that they face. Ultimately, by encouraging MPs to visit grass roots charities and come face to face with the challenges faced by their most disadvantaged constituents, we hope to better inform public policy."
Got it. Reducing misconceptions. Better informing public policy. Really?
"Our researchers are aware that entitlement to DLA is not affected by a person’s work status, but also recognise that employment rates among DLA recipients are very low. While the quote risks misleading readers about the relationship between DLA entitlement and work, it is an accurate reflection of what the MP saw during his inner city challenge. The point being made is that there are some people who remain on benefits without any intention of working, and this is what needs to change."
They hope this addresses my concerns. Short of writing "DLA is not an out-of-work benefit and does not belong in a discussion about worklessness - so could you possibly stop lying?" in 72pt-type, I'm not sure how anyone is going to get this message through to people who think demonising DLA claimants is an acceptable way to address welfare dependency. All I know is that we must all keep trying.