Benefit deaths: We have seen just the tip of the iceberg

It grieves This Writer to report that today, Vox Political Towers has received no envelope from the Department for Work and Pensions containing details of sickness benefit-related deaths between November 2011 and May 2014 – nor has there been any email contact.

It seems the DWP intends to keep us waiting the full 35 days legally afforded to it before providing an answer to that question – meaning we may be waiting up to four weeks after the general election.

There is good news, though – certain members of the mainstream media have been in touch and we may see news stories on the subject later today – depending on the decisions of editors.

In the main, though, it’s still down to those of us in the social media to raise awareness of this.

So here’s the latest infographic. Please feel free to copy and share, everywhere:


Hopefully there will be another infographic tomorrow – along with more positive news of the campaign to get this information out.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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  1. hussain kassim May 5, 2015 at 11:19 am - Reply

    quick enough to have people named and shamed when they claim while working .i am in pain every day but do they care and the doctors they use cant have much medical training cause they have never examined properly. but yet say i am fine

  2. NMac May 5, 2015 at 11:32 am - Reply

    Their nasty political masters don’t want this information to be known before the election.

    • Mike Sivier May 5, 2015 at 11:32 am - Reply

      And that is exactly why we need to get it out to the public.

      • Tony Dean May 5, 2015 at 11:37 am - Reply

        Basically Mike on every nearly every forum I use whenever I try to with evidence from the DWPs own website to try and publicise what is happening I get told to eff off.

        • Mike Sivier May 5, 2015 at 3:47 pm - Reply

          Well, don’t stop. That’s just people with a different agenda trying to stop the facts from getting to the public.

      • John Gaines May 6, 2015 at 9:48 am - Reply

        From the above info when we factor in NHS CUTS: it is quite clear that the Tory swine have murdered ovey 100,000 Men Women and Children over the past 5 years.

        Social housing tenants struggling to afford heat and light are stuck in a long deal and can’t change suppliers

        MORE people than ever are finding the costs of heating and lighting their homes are becoming unaffordable. The simplest way to combat the problem is to switch energy tariff with experts reckoning those that have never switched could save up to £300 a year.
        he research from the Energy Bill Revolution showed the number of excess winter deaths surged last winter to 49,260, of which around 14,780 were due to people living in cold homes.

        Research published last month revealed some 14.3 million households turned off heating at some point last winter to cut energy bills.

        Some two fifths of consumers said they left their oven door open after cooking and a quarter wore a coat, scarf or hat indoors to keep warm rather than turning on their heating, according to the uSwitch survey.

  3. joanna may May 5, 2015 at 12:10 pm - Reply

    maybe off topic But IDS has been saying a vote for labour and Ukip would be us signing our death warrants! What he doesn’t want to realise is that we have a death warrant with the coalition, which doesn’t need to be signed!! go figure!!!

    • John Gaines May 6, 2015 at 10:18 am - Reply

      This is what they REALLY THINK:

      Lets have an Example:

      Here is an Right Wing Newspaper take on the coming Election:

      they claim that only London is concerned with the outcome of the Election:

      It is not a narrowly partisan view; it is our conviction that what benefits the capital benefits the rest of the country. Londoners should, we believe, consider the needs of the capital when they vote — this is London’s election. This is a diverse city with many shades of political opinion. We respect that multiplicity of views. This paper’s view, however, is that a Conservative government under David Cameron would be in the best interests of the capital.

      a hostility to wealth creation which is not in London’s interests.

      So, the rest of England may go boil their heads, they are not important says the Conservative’s.

      Read it for yourselves, if you don’t believe such arrogance.

  4. Jim Round May 5, 2015 at 12:20 pm - Reply

    I hate to be cynical and I really, REALLY hope I’m wrong, but I very much doubt that this will have any effect.
    I can’t see any criminal charges being brought and it would not surprise me if the so called “official” figures were tampered with (how would you know if they were genuine?)
    I can’t help thinking about the changes regarding workfare when that went to court.
    That, amongst countless other things that mysteriously get swept under the carpet by successive governments.

    • Mike Sivier May 5, 2015 at 3:50 pm - Reply

      If enough people feel the same way, then it will be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
      Why not try pushing for a better result instead?

  5. Rupert Mitchell (@rupert_rrl) May 5, 2015 at 12:22 pm - Reply

    There should be a public outcry at the delay in publishing this information. We employ a government to be open and honest, not to try and cover up their disastrous actions. This is a very serious matter and needs to be dealt with professionally without any further delay.

  6. Jim Round May 5, 2015 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    I meant to add Mike that my comment does not detract from the hard work and effort you and many others have put in, it’s the government I don’t trust.
    I hope you and the many others who comment on your site carry on, after this election I’m calling it a day with the campaigning.

  7. Damien Willey May 5, 2015 at 12:31 pm - Reply

    Keep the infographics coming!

  8. M de Mowbray May 5, 2015 at 1:07 pm - Reply

    I reckon they will probably release it on election day or one or two days after when everyone’s attention will be diverted. Keep up the good work with the media, Mike!

  9. death via dwp sanctions May 5, 2015 at 2:08 pm - Reply

    the noose is tightening around gormless Compulsive LIAR Iain Duncan smith hahaha the day your out of office, or better still up in the courts is the day i do a little Irish jig, you vile heartless sponging ugly f***er!

  10. Linda May 5, 2015 at 3:05 pm - Reply

    Mike, I dont know if you watched the daily politics welfare debate at 2pm today. The spokesman for the Green Party Jonathon Bartley challenged Iain Duncan Smith about the amount of suicides his policies had caused, as usual IDS became indignant and all but called him a liar, then he mentioned about him delaying releasing the details of the peer review into the 60 deaths and more importantly the FOI request into the deaths. It is repeated tonight on the parliament channel at 9pm for anyone who missed it. As usual Andrew Neil gave IDS a pretty easy ride.

    • Mags May 5, 2015 at 6:12 pm - Reply

      In IDS’s own words…”No, we have not carried out a review”…

  11. thelovelywibblywobblyoldlady May 5, 2015 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    Mike, I don’t know if you’ve already tried this, but I have had some success doing this with other government departments in the past. Try ringing the DWP FoI team (if there is a telephone number on any correspondence you’ve had from them) and ask to speak to a SEO (Senior Executive Officer) ask them for a progress update; ask if it is at all possible (smiling sweetly all the while of course) for them to provide any information they hold to you now if they are currently unable to supply it in its’ entirety. It may also be worth asking if the request has ever been subject to a ministerial veto and that is why it has been delayed

  12. Chris May 5, 2015 at 4:50 pm - Reply

    There can be no reply as there is no government in power, no MPs to answer til after Thursday 7 May.

    Iain Duncan Smith is not a Minister nor an MP at the moment.

    Nor is any other MP.

    They are all merely candidates til re-elected into the job of MP.

    • Mike Sivier May 5, 2015 at 6:03 pm - Reply

      Allow me to correct your mistake:
      The DWP is still operating and DWP officers are perfectly capable of auctioning my request.
      Iain Duncan Smith remains a Minister – although not an MP – as do all the other members of the Coalition Government. Ministerial jobs are granted by the Queen, through the Prime Minister, and are not removed when an election is called; they are only passed on after the result is known.

      • spirit May 6, 2015 at 1:27 am - Reply

        Surely this can be used to your [everybody’s] advantage, Mike? There must be some civil servants with access who aren’t there as political appointments. During the interregnum, with the wonks away wonking, you’d think the department would be kept going by some of the old-school ‘impartial’ types. They’d only be doing their job… while IDS is away…
        I don’t know how you’d disseminate the idea, make sure the right people are prompted to consider such a noble act. Maybe get in touch with Serotka, get a few email addresses (or on the phone to his colleagues)?

  13. Thomas May 5, 2015 at 5:39 pm - Reply

    I don’t ask much of my government, but I do expect it not to try to starve me to death or make me turn to crime. If this government get another five years in power I could end up just surviving on my savings until they run out.

  14. casalealex May 5, 2015 at 7:08 pm - Reply

    Mike, I have been diligently posting the first info graph on a number of group timelines and even on David Cameron’s. I have had at least 100 likes and a few shares. Will be sending out this new one tonight.

    • Mike Sivier May 5, 2015 at 7:47 pm - Reply

      Thanks – that’s exactly what I hope everyone does.

  15. lawrencesroberts May 6, 2015 at 12:20 am - Reply

    Why not do what they do (not satire) Make it Up.
    Have a guestermate at what it might be, a few in South Wales, A lot in The Midlands and N.East. Figures unavailable for Scotland. A Statistician could get it right to within two suffering bodies.

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