Lord Victor Adebowale on Newsnight commenting on employment for people affected by addiction

News item posted: 30 July 2015

Turning Point’s Chief Executive, Lord Victor Adebowale CBE, was on BBC's Newsnight yesterday (Wednesday 29 July) commenting on the independent review into the impact on employment outcomes of drug or alcohol addiction, and obesity.

The review, Chaired by Dame Carol Black, is intended to look at costs, failings within the current system and how best to get more people off sick benefit and back into work over the next 5 years. 

In response to the proposals Lord Adebowale shared his view that the suggestion of cutting people’s benefits if they did not engage with treatment would be ineffective. 

He stated that ‘starving people into help is generally not a good idea.’ Instead the government should look to invest in preventing the causes of addiction and other complex needs.

He spoke about the many people Turning Point support who have already lost everything and engage with the service because they want to turn their lives around. He added that ‘addiction is not a rational act. You’re doing something irrational. The idea that cutting people’s benefits will make them think ‘I’ll stop now’ isn’t real.’ People need incentives to engage, not punishment.   

 Turning Point will be responding to the review that runs until 11th September 2015: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/448830/employment-outcomes-drug-alcohol-obesity--independent-review.pdf