ESA death statistics may never see light of day – Benefits and Work

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Benefits and Work has a rather pessimistic appraisal of the DWP’s appeal against my FOI victory on benefit deaths:

Unfortunately, this is far from the final stage in the proceedings if the DWP are determined to avoid publication. If they lose at the tribunal they can then go on to the high court, the court of appeal and the supreme court.

In addition, the government are now considering changing the law to give ministers an unchallengeable power to veto any freedom of information disclosure they choose.

Given that there unlikely to be anyone with pockets deep enough to take the DWP all the way to the supreme court to get these figures released, it seems certain the DWP can prevent their publication if they choose.

While the information is accurate, there are certain points that may be used against the Department:

Since all its arguments are rehashed versions of what it has already said, it may be possible to claim that the appeal is an abuse of process and have it thrown out. There needs to be at least a 50/50 chance of success and simply making the same claims again won’t cut any ice.

Also, the amount of money the DWP is throwing into this may cut against it. The Department’s claim is that the information is exempt from disclosure because it will be published in due course (a false claim as there is a one-year limit on that exemption and that time is up). But the Department has employed a £49,000-a-year Treasury barrister, no less, to fight this case, showing that it is prepared to spend far more public money on preventing this information from coming out than the £600 to which the FOI Act limits public authority expenditure in publishing the information.

Logic therefore forces one to consider: Why does the DWP want to spend so much money preventing this information from being published – especially if its defence is that it will be published in the near future anyway?

If the tribunal’s answer to that question doesn’t mitigate against the DWP, you can be sure that the UN’s will.

Source: ESA death statistics may never see light of day

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21 thoughts on “ESA death statistics may never see light of day – Benefits and Work

  1. Nick

    I cant see it being published as the country would rise up against the government if the true figures of the deaths of the sick and disabled were published

    It may be leaked however at some point by a DWP staff member with a conscience but that would be a very brave person to do that as he or she would be risking their own life in doing so

    1. Colin p morris

      And there hangs the problem the DWP is a law unto itself it rules by fear it is arguably the most corrupt ministry ever presided over by a man of dubious origins it stinks but the BBC and main stream media do not challenge they simply promote every lie/statistic the said ministers utter MCVEY was outed due to social media pressure and you can bet this goverment will start censorship asap

  2. Maria

    You can’t be the only bid for FOI for this case, is no one else not asking for it. What if a load of different people wanted to know and they all put in their own bid, surely that would cost more to appeal. Also what is the point of making information accessible then having a law to block any information they don’t want? And if they deny the information that just shows they have something to hide. And why haven’t you taken this public? surely they are papers that will print, they can’t all be right-wing.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I made a previous request in June 2013, in which I suggested that Vox Political readers could submit similar requests (in the hope that the weight of numbers would convince the DWP that enough people wanted the information to justify providing it. This was after previous, individual, requests had been refused. The result was that the DWP refused my request on the grounds that it was “vexatious”, because I had encouraged other people to harass the Department with multiple versions of the same request. That matter went to the Information Tribunal, who regretfully upheld the refusal and its grounds.
      I don’t think the DWP is worried about the cost of preventing this information from coming out; it is already spending thousands on mine.
      You are right that there is something to hide.
      I have indeed made the matter public. For some reason, most of the mainstream press just doesn’t want to know (with the honourable exception of the Daily Mirror).

  3. amnesiaclinic

    Well done. The hope is that you will give up but I’m sure you won’t!

    Whatever they do the truth will come out even if it takes years!

    Thanks for all you are doing.

  4. Chris Tandy

    Dung-can Sniff has something to hide….so has something to fear, it would seem.
    Any fledgling thuggish scumbags would look to him as a role-model.

    However, Mike, I doff my hat to you and your persistent search for truth and justice.

  5. Jim Round

    As a journalist Mike, do you not have any sympathetic contacts at the Shropshire Star? (I think you said you worked there)
    Aren’t they owned by MNA?
    Could do with The Mirror putting it on their front page.
    If this does not get sufficient exposure,I fear the above may be true sadly.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      The Star has been through several purges in the last few years; I’m not sure I know anybody there any more, and even if I did, I don’t think they would help.

      1. Jim Round

        I am ashamed of our so called democracy, there are other parties with at least one MP and also some independents.
        I cannot seriously believe that not one of those people are aware of this, wasn’t a letter written to Dame Anne Begg?
        What became of that?
        As I said, The Mirror should have it on the front page. As for The Graun?????
        Mind you, look at the struggle in bringing things like phone hacking, fraud in government contracts, the banking scandals and things like that.
        I can only assume they all have something on each other and are scared to death of those things being revealed. (Think about it)
        Despite my negativity (using past experiences) I really, really hope you are successful, it’s about time our corrupt system was taken to task.

  6. Jeffery Davies

    You finally got it rtu ids will not allow those figures out if it ever got to it it would have been altered figures not the truth but has we now action t4 had culled many by the summer of forty one yet this demon rtu ids keeps his cull secret jeff3

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      They won’t release altered figures. The facts can be checked and lying in response to an FOI request would undoubtedly create serious problems not just for a government department but for government (the actual practice of running a nation like the UK) itself.

  7. Mr.Angry

    Mike the picture above of that inhumane excuse of DNA says it all, he will ignore every demand made on him. He is pure evil and nothing will change that, his body guards won’t be with him forever.

    Understand how you feel after all your efforts.

  8. Rupert Mitchell (@rupert_rrl)

    If the figures were better than have been suggested then obviously IDS would be fighting to publish them so we can be pretty confident that they are far worse. This is just one more cover-up by this government to prevent the ordinary decent citizens for having a proper democracy and their every aim seems to be to prevent the general public from having access to information and from having the right to comment on it and fight against it where necessary. We are now living under a dictatorship not a democracy.

  9. easy as one two three

    That b*****d George smith will have to look over its shoulder till the day he f***ing dies!! I wish every cancer known to man to hit that t**t hard!!!

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