Newcastle MP joins call for DWP to publish death statistics

Thanks are due to Newcastle Labour MP Chi Onwurah, who has supported the petition for the DWP to honour Vox Political‘s Freedom of Information request on ESA deaths.

Mrs Onwurah, who led a Commons debate on the benefits system earlier this year, said: “One of the most powerful and distressing examples in my debate was of a man who had committed suicide.

“If someone dies after being fit to work it doesn’t necessarily mean that being found fit to work had an impact in their death, so I can understand that the Government might fear the figures would be misinterpreted.

“But if the Government has figures then they should share those, and allow people to interpret them fairly.

“This isn’t just a matter of dry statistics. It is about about the health-affecting impact that having been fond fit to work can have on claimants.

“And I know that because I see them in my surgery on a regular basis.

“When bad decisions are made I know they can have a life-destroying impact on vulnerable people. So it makes sense for the Government to share that data.”

In January this year, Mrs Onwurah told MPs that a constituent had committed suicide after being found fit for work.

She said: “My constituent was found hanged in his home by a neighbour. He was well known to Newcastle Welfare Rights, from which he had received considerable support in his dealings with the Department for Work and Pensions.

“He had been in receipt of employment and support allowance, and previously incapacity benefit, and he was engaging well with Newcastle Welfare Rights until November 2013, when he underwent a work capability assessment.”

Source: Newcastle MP demands: Tell us how many died after being found ‘fit for work’ – Chronicle Live

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6 thoughts on “Newcastle MP joins call for DWP to publish death statistics

  1. Mr.Angry

    Brilliant, gathering momentum we need more like this but in the National press also until the information requested is released. One wonders how high the standards of the DWP report has to be, quite simple surely or is such beyond their remit.

    Good news for you Mike, thrilled for you

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I’ve got an article about another one. Maybe we’ll see a deluge later.

  2. Jim Round

    So, she has first hand experience.
    So as a Labour MP the rest of the party should be vocal in supporting her and using whatever influence and knowledge they have in parliament to back both yourself and Mrs Onwurah.

  3. crazytrucker1951

    I don’t pretend to understand what would drive someone to commit suicide because of a decision by IDS’s Gestapo, however, I do understand what it’s like being hounded by IDS’s Gestapo, similar to the nasty old joke about what’s the difference between a Social Worker and a Rottweiler, with the Rottie you have a chance of getting your kid back!
    My personal anger is conducted at the discrimination at the Gestapo of hounding the innocent and honest, sometimes to death, whereas those who’ve been fiddling for years are allowed to do so with impunity! Why not go after them, I’ve reported a few on the “hotline” and short of doing the job for them nothing is done, what’s going on Obergruppenfuhrer Smiff, too much like hard work when the honest ones are such easy targets?

  4. Nick

    As i have said all along if you don’t know about about the deaths of the sick and disabled in going through welfare reform over the past 5 years and your a mp you now need to resign as your not fit for purpose as your main role as a mp is to protect the lives and interests of your constituents

    I put it to this house in that where a constituent has died the mp for that constituent should resign

    all if favor say “aye” on the contrary ‘no’ ?

Comments are closed.