The Lib Dems and anti-addiction charities have quite rightly condemned the idea to try to bully alcoholics into receiving treatment by threatening to deprive them of their benefits. Quite what James Purnell thinks will be achieved by such a scheme is beyond me. Does he really think that someone with a severe alcohol addiction will suddenly see the light when threatened by a functionary from the DWP. Alcoholics who have perhaps lost their jobs and families through their addiction are hardly likely to "come to their senses" when faced with this latest threat. Far more likely is that they will end up further in debt, poverty and illness, placing a greater strain on NHS resources never mind the sheer inhumanity of this approach.
Since when is it Labour policy to punish people for being ill?