Some people were offended by Lord Freud comments saying that disabled people should perhaps in some cases work for less than the minimum wage. Perhaps this seems offensive at first glance, but in the context in which Lord Freud was talking about, he raises an important point, which is how benefits are still too unflexible. They make part time work look unattractive for people who have disabilities, even if it gives them some dignity. The universal credit is interesting because it could probably make informal part-time work attractive rather than working in the black market and being paid »under the table » with all the stress and anxiety involved. Many disabled people can work a few hours a week but they are scared to declare it because they fear losing their benefits.
As someone who have a life-long handicap and who is in the labour market, Freud is right about one important point, the benefits system still have difficulty to be flexible enough to value part time work, or work in an informal setting. For some people who have an handicap, they could only work for a few hours a week. Sometimes in some jobs, their salary in principally composed of tips, but they are reluctant to take out these jobs because the system is done in a way which they are scared to lose their benefits.
This is why than rather to bash Lord Freud for what he said, there should be a debate on how the benefit system for handicaped people should be reformed to help people and make it attractive for people with disabilities to have »mini-jobs » and to have benefits at the same time. Rather than to have these jobs working against the benefit system, they should be valued. This is what Freud was saying that »mini-jobs » should not be something to be afraid for, but rather something which should be valued.
Rather than bashing the messenger, should people rather look at ways on how to make the life of disabled people better? Should we have a real debate on benefits and not just a Punch and Judy blame game?