DWP gets deathly defensive

Excellent post from Nick at ILegal (note the possible Cabinet shuffle for IDS at bottom of the article)

Post by nickd (Mylegal) on 2 hours ago

DWP gets deathly defensive

IDS you MUST apologise

In usual DWP defence mode, their politically biased press office sprang in to action today.

The ‘Big Issue’ had printed an article back in March of this year entitled “ATOS, DEATHS AND WELFARE CUTS”.  On line blogger Caitlin Moran tweeted the article out to her 505,000 followers:

In one year, 10,600 sick and disabled people died within SIX WEEKS of ATOS finding them fit for work: http://www.bigissue.com/features/3637/atos-deaths-and-welfare-cuts 

The DWP Press Office retorted (their tweet not currently appearing on their timeline)

  1. In one year, 10,600 sick and disabled people died within SIX WEEKS of ATOS finding them fit for work: http://www.bigissue.com/features/3637/atos-deaths-and-welfare-cuts 

@caitlinmoran the 10,600 figure refers to people being supported on ESA or waiting for assessment, not people who were found fit for work

Interestingly earlier in the day, the Daily Telegraph’s assistant comment editor Tom Chivers wrote an article entitled ‘The ‘10,600 people died within six weeks of being declared fit to work by Atos’ stat is simply wrong’ For what it’s worth I’m (save for a reservation which I’ll shortly expand on) with The Telegraph article on this one.  The sole source of reference to the only data which the DWP has been prepared to publish on the gory subject of ‘Incapacity Benefits: Deaths of recipients’ was published on the 9th July 2012 and can be read here.  The relevant clarification is to be found in the first paragraph of page 6 which confirms:

“In total, between January 2011 and November 2011, some 10,600 claims ended and a date of death was recorded within six weeks of the claim end. This represents about 1% of the total ESA caseload in November 2011, the latest caseload data available.” 

No here’s why I think IDS owes some, if not all, of those 10,600 dead souls and their grieving families an apology:

The DWP statistical report to which the data is taken from relates to (on page 3 at table 1) a figure of 728,750 claimants who came off all incapacity benefits in the May, August & November quarters of 2010 and the February quarter for 2011.  You can check the 507,930 figure for Employment & Support Allowance here and the 220,820 claimants who came off the older range of incapacity benefits for the same dates here – they provide us with a total of 728,750 just as it says in the report.

Now, apology number one which IDS and the DWP owes is over his department’s complete failure to provide information relating to a far greater number of deaths associated with those coming off these benefits using the May, August & November quarters of 2012 and the February quarter for 2013.  This relates to a much higher number of claimants as the DWP ramped up their relentless programme of assessments much more markedly from March 2011, the figures we then see are a whole different ball game.  701,680 coming off the older incapacity benefits and 589,850 of Employment & Support Allowance making for a much higher total of 1,291,530 claimants (nearly 1.3 million).

And let’s be clear about one thing. Not any of the 10,600 deaths referred to in the DWP’s ‘incapacity’ death report are older incapacity benefit claimants who have been migrated on to Employment & Support Allowance – the wretched migration process didn’t start until March 2011!

The figure of 10,600 deaths (however caused) is therefore as extinct as the lives of claimants of claimants who have undoubtedly died whilst (as IDS would say) ‘languishing’ on incapacity benefits.  What IDS should immediately apologise for is his complete lack of respect to those who are, for whatever reason, now sadly bereaved & relieved of the DWP by scrutinising these figures properly for the sake of the much greater number of claimants who have since been through this perilous programme.

And now to apology number 2.

Remember this IDS?

900,000 choose to come off sickness benefit ahead of tests

Nearly 900,000 people who were on incapacity benefit dropped their claim to the payments rather than undergo a tough medical test, latest government figures show.

Strain: the Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith is masterminding welfare reforms

Mr Duncan Smith having effectively given up trying to reduce the welfare bill Photo: GEOFF PUGH

An absurdly inaccurate article by Daily Telegraph’s Patrick Hennessy 30th March 2013

The 878,300 who decided not to have an official assessment of whether they were fit for work was more than a third of the total number of people claiming sickness-related benefits.

The statistics also revealed that some claimants cited conditions such as “blisters”, “sprains and strains” and “acne” as preventing them from having a job…..

Will IDS now apologise? – on behalf of his beloved DWP & Conservative party, for not only misquoting a figure of 900,000 when the real figure was 19,700 but also, in the light of today’s admittance by the DWP that cases which are closed before assessment can relate to dead claimants, to those who had in in fact died only to be subsequently and posthumously labelled by the vile right wing media as ‘dropping their claims rather than face tough new medical tests’? 

All IDS has at heart is protecting his fast falling reputation as it becomes all too clear he will stoop so low as labelling the profoundly dead ‘scroungers’.  

IDS, you are an utter disgrace!!

Post by leonc1963 on 11 minutes ago

I heard today that IDS is being shifted out of DWP and moving to defence with Hammond being his replacement how true that is we will shortly find out.This is the message I was sent:

Quick quick! While I have power!

Just read the Telegraph – Benedict Brogan this morning



Ministers have cleared their diaries on Monday the 14th in advance of a rumoured reshuffle. Guido Fawkes rounds up some of the rumoured moves. It’s expected to be a good day to be a Conservative woman, although Esther McVey is likely to suffer for her comments during the Maria Miller affair. Penny Mordaunt – who so impressed while delivering the Loyal Address – is tipped to do well. The biggest rumoured move is a job-swap between Philip Hammond and Iain Duncan Smith, leaving Mr Hammond to steady the ship at the DWP.”

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4 Responses to DWP gets deathly defensive

  1. sdbast says:

    Reblogged this on sdbast.


  2. Methusalada says:

    Does this mean that IDS is to replace Tony Blair in the Middle East as the UN communities & peace advocate for a little nesty egg ?
    However can the disabled people of the UK with it’s own Queen’s Government ever be able to display it’s everlasting thanks & gratitude ? Maybe a bronze silhouette should be placed along side Ghandi’s statue in Westminster as a lasting symbol of British humanity. Or possibly a rubber duck in every park with another surprise gift where every ones a winner .By subscription only.
    Should my source be misleading me , in my own desires, then I hope that he or she shall remain in that other place where all seek eternal rest – The House of Lords ! . Hopefully all the Queen’s men & even those ancient queens, including those who cant , shall arise too salute the inspiring self service of the new lord IDS & bestow upon him, it’s overdue gratification & climax on behalf of all the disabled people of the UK.
    We the unworthy, the disabled elderly who have no voice, do not bow down before thee you schemer of evil magnificence , you the reborn lord of darkness can retain your own domain. We the people must now await with despondent delight as to your new & next successor’s revolutionary concept on humanity is revealed !
    So I am grateful now, that people power is not your decision or your choice IDS. But may I congratulate you for you being so successful in destroying your own political party . That is no mean achievement !
    For that IDS, I and millions like myself shall & should be eternally grateful.


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