DWP gave disability propaganda to Daily Mail – DPAC

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Excellent work from Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC):

Time and time again, the Daily Mail has published stories about disability benefit claimants who supposedly did not deserve their benefits because they were either fit for work, or because it was too easy to claim benefits… to which DWP responded that it ‘takes great care’ when publishing statistics to ensure that the information is used in an appropriate manner but… also stated that ‘The Committee and Government need to be mindful of the widespread public unease about the number of people claiming incapacity benefits and it is therefore unsurprising that this is reflected in the media. […] However, it is important to stress that it is not the Department’s role to dictate what can appear in stories in the media’.

In August 2014, the Daily Mail published the above article [which] gave rise to a very interesting Freedom of Information request (for which S Banks deserves credit) which DWP took over 2 months to respond to. After getting the clarification he was looking for on whether there was a DWP press release about the Worst excuses used by benefit fraudsters, he asked the question: In regards to your last point; to answer my query specifically can you please confirm that the dwp initiated contact with the Mail in this particular instance?

To which DWP responded: The answer to your query below is yes, DWP initiated contact with the Mail in this particular instance.

Read more on the DPAC site.

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6 thoughts on “DWP gave disability propaganda to Daily Mail – DPAC

  1. Gazza

    Er, problem here – it is part of the Civil Service Charter [Written into Law to boot…] that the Civil Service MUST be impartial and fair.

    Lets see now:
    Was press release justified? Nope. It was promoting a political opinion as espoused by our Dear Leader George “Return to Unit” Smith.
    Was it in the Public Interest? Nope, see above.
    Was it impartial? Nope, see above. [Further, it was given to only ONE news outlet]

    If you fail on any test – the data is not supposed to be released. Maybe the Information Commissionair should have a look at this.

  2. Matt

    so when it suits them they comment on particular cases (albeit without identifying claimants) yet when something goes wrong they keep very quiet and deny things.. the worst part being that “they” contacted one of the “trashiest” rags out there who makes their money off others suffering.

  3. Ian Duncan

    I know nothing about the legal system but is there no case for a libel here or does that have to be against specific individuals? The government has certainly done its best to badmouth anyone who claims benefit and it needs to stop…

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I don’t think it’s anything to do with libel as the statistical information is likely to be correct (as far as the DWP’s stats go). No – the issue is the fact that civil servants have been disseminating partisan political material to the right-wing press in order to create an effect among the general public.
      This is forbidden according to Civil Service rules.

Comments are closed.