The Tory minister for disabled people appears to have accidentally admitted what many disabled activists feared: that a Conservative government would cut the out-of-work benefits of people with mental health conditions if they refused treatment.
In a debate broadcast on local radio, Mark Harper strongly suggested that people with mental health problems would be among the group with “long-term yet treatable” conditions who could be sanctioned if they refused treatment.
The pledge to review whether such sanctions should be introduced is included in the Tory manifesto, under a promise to “review how best to support those suffering from long-term yet treatable conditions, such as drug or alcohol addiction, or obesity, back into work”.
It adds: “People who might benefit from treatment should get the medical help they need so they can return to work.
“If they refuse a recommended treatment, we will review whether…