By John Pring in Disability News Service.
A disability charity’s decision to choose as its new chair the head of a company closely linked with the government’s hated “fitness for work” test has been branded “a betrayal” of disabled people and “a truly disgraceful appointment”.
United Response, which provides a range of support services to about 3,000 disabled people across England and Wales, this week announced the appointment of management consultant Malcolm McCaig.
McCaig has been a non-executive director of Unum UK since July 2009 and was appointed to chair the company’s board last year.
But Unum has spent decades attempting to influence UK government policy on welfare reform and is blamed by many disabled researchers and activists for pushing successive governments to make the process of applying for out-of-work disability benefits harsher and more stressful.
Those policies have been closely linked to the deaths of countless benefit claimants and with causing significant harm to the physical and mental health of many others.
Campaigners argue that Unum has spent years trying to undermine the social security system to boost the market for its own income protection insurance (IPI) policies.
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