David Freud: The unelected welfare reform minister with too much political power : Welfare Weekly

Lord Freud was unelected and had no prior political experience, but his welfare reforms have adversely affected millions of vulnerable people.

Commissioned in December 2006 by Tony Blair to review welfare funding, the unelected David Freud was to be ennobled by David Cameron in 2009 which permitted him to be appointed from the House of Lords as a junior Minister in the 2010 Coalition government.

The danger for all chronically ill and disabled people dependent upon welfare funding for financial survival was apparent in some of the first reported words by David Freud, in his capacity as the appointed adviser to the New Labour government.

A millionaire and former city banker with no political experience, Freud claimed in a press interview in February 2008 that he “couldn’t believe” that anyone had been awarded a disability benefit for life.

His total failure to conceive that many illnesses and disabilities are permanent, and disabled people can’t suddenly become able bodied at the demand of an unelected millionaire seemed to escape him.

Freud’s commissioned and influential 2007 report ‘Reducing dependency, increasing opportunity: options for the future of welfare to work’ had a first draft written in only three weeks by the man who proclaimed that he knew “nothing about welfare”. Yet his hastily gathered recommendations were adopted by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and were destined to become future welfare reform policies for the Cameron governments.




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