No word yet from DWP on benefit-related deaths

Almost a week after being ordered to reveal the number of sickness benefit claimants who have died between November 2011 (the last statistics published) and May 2014 (when This Writer submitted a Freedom of Information request for the facts) the Department for Work and Pensions has yet to furnish us with the figures.

Thanks to a delay of more than seven weeks before the Information Commissioner’s Office published its decision to uphold my appeal against the DWP and order officials to hand over the facts, the department does not – legally – have to deliver them until June 4, meaning people will have to vote in the general election without knowing how many of their fellow citizens have died while in the care of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition.

Some of us don’t think that is acceptable. Here’s why:


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Vox Political will keep you updated as further developments take place.

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  1. Steve Grant May 5, 2015 at 8:00 pm - Reply

    The DWP is too busy shredding paper and evidence relating to the lies they have been telling and of course filling in applications for employment. After May 8th all these workers are toast…..personally I would have them all arrested and held to account.

    • Andy May 6, 2015 at 7:27 am - Reply

      Irrespectıve of what the staff in the DWP are currently doing they will not, on the 8th May “be toast”; they are civil servants and will continue to staff Caxton House and the varıous DWP offices throughout the UK. .

      While the nature of their work may change after the election they are not employees of any political party but theır dutıes and resposıbılıtıes are to implement the policies of the government of the day.

      • Mike Sivier May 6, 2015 at 8:55 am - Reply

        If staff at the DWP are found to have done anything illegal, they will indeed be (metaphorically) toast – along with any ministers who ordered the illegal acts. The DWP will continue to implement the policies of the government of the day, hiring new employees to do so.

        • Andy May 6, 2015 at 6:06 pm - Reply

          As regards the Secretary of State and DWP Ministers their future parliamentary role will be determined by the electorate tomorrow. It will then be for the PM, if appropriate, to decide on any further ministerial role.
          Any allegations of acting illegally by Ministers or by the Department as a body will have to be pursued through the courts, either individually or perhaps as a body acting on behalf of those wishing to do so and, presumably, with the onus of proof resting with them..

          As regards the civil servants, any who may have acted contrary to the rules governing their employment ın the Servıce may be subject to the internal disciplinary procedures. Any, who it is alleged have acted outside of the said discipiınary code and illegally could be taken to court by the DWP. As in the case of the minısters action by individuals or their representatives is possible.

          In the unlikely event of needing to fill vacancies this would follow the normal process of level transfer, or promotion within the department dependıng on the grades involved. The recruıtment of new employees would be extremely unlikely.

          • Mike Sivier May 6, 2015 at 6:20 pm

            Mm-hm. Of course, any act that is against the law would be against the civil service code of conduct in any case, so it would be a further mark against Coalition ministers if they were found to have asked DWP officers to carry out such acts.

          • Andy May 6, 2015 at 6:43 pm

            It depends what was asked in the instructions and how they were enacted as to who, if anyone, is responsıble for any alledged illegality. That is a legal argument and not one I can give an opinion on.
            My original comment was really just to set the record straight with Steve Grant’s comment – that after 8th May the DWP staff are not toast and it is hıghly unlikely they are filling out job application forms!
            Perhaps we should wait and see what the FOI brings forth.

          • Mike Sivier May 6, 2015 at 6:55 pm

            No – if a civil servant was asked to do something that is against the law, then both the civil servant and the person making the request must face the consequences.
            But you’re right that ALL DWP stall will not be out on their ear, come Friday.

          • Andy May 6, 2015 at 8:05 pm

            What I said and what you are saying are,in effect, the same but I would qualify your final piece about ALL DWP not being out on their ear on Friday – NONE of the DWP staff will be – nothing has been proved and innocent until……

          • Mike Sivier May 6, 2015 at 9:15 pm

            Fair comment. AFTER Friday would have been more accurate, which is the phrasing you used.

  2. Samuel Miller (@Hephaestus7) May 5, 2015 at 10:26 pm - Reply

    Can we even trust the DWP’s mortality statistics? They would need to be independently verified by a third party.

  3. M de Mowbray May 6, 2015 at 7:00 am - Reply

    Mike, I hope you don’t mind me posting this link here, but I think it is grimly funny, well written and a damning portrait of IDS:

  4. pat May 6, 2015 at 8:08 am - Reply
    • Mike Sivier May 6, 2015 at 8:53 am - Reply

      Yes – I sent out a press release. Notice that none of the other papers or TV stations have done so!

      I’ll be doing a follow-up article very soon.

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