First, Ewan's liberal musings: Good luck to 500000 turfed off incapacity benefit, and the comments on it.
And second, a new blog on Being on Benefits, addressing the myths the media perpetuates about people on incapacity benefit, especially those with invisible disabilities (like mental illness and chronic pain).
The stigma surrounding being on benefits, and the fear of losing them, contributes a huge amount of unnecessary stress and distress to the lives of people who are already struggling. They - or I should say we, since I suffer from depression and have been on income support for incapacity - find life hard enough as it is, due to our various disabilities, and income support really doesn't provide much to live on. There are many factors that keep us on benefits, from the rather obvious fact that many of us need them because we cannot work, to the fact that employers blatantly discriminate against people with a history of mental health problems, and people with gaps in their work history.
Many of us contribute to society in ways other than through paid employment, like voluntary work, and sometimes as homemakers and caregivers. Yet we are tarred with the brush of being "economically inactive" (even though this is not true, as what little money we have goes straight back into the economy when we spend it), and treated as lazy, good for nothing scroungers.
In the rather unlikely event that anyone is reading this, I hope you'll go and check out the links above.