Corbyn backs Parliamentary motion on DWP deaths


MPs are being urged to support a Parliamentary motion calling on the Conservative Government to publish death statistics relating to people on benefit, in line with This Writer’s Freedom of Information request that was granted on April 30.

Early Day Motions (EDMs) are formal motions submitted for debate in the House of Commons, allowing MPs to draw attention to an event or cause.

MPs register their support for EDMs by signing them. According to the Parliament UK website, the first signature on this motion belongs to Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn.

The EDM, number 285, was tabled yesterday (July 13) by Marie Rimmer, who put Iain Duncan Smith on the spot in a Commons debate a few weeks ago, alongside Debbie Abrahams.

It states: “That this House notes that on 30 April 2015 the Information Commission took a decision that the Government must disclose the number of incapacity benefit and employment and support allowance claimants who have died since November 2011 until May 2014 within 35 calendar days; acknowledges the petition signed by over 230,000 members of the public calling for this data to be released; further notes that even though the 35 day deadline has passed this data has not been released; has concerns that the data released may be a standardised figure rather than a full picture; and therefore calls on the Government to ensure the release of this data in full and without further delay.” [Bolding mine]

The tabling of this motion, and Mr Corbyn’s support for it, puts the issue of benefit deaths right at the top of the political agenda.

The last time the government published the death figures relating to Employment and Support Allowance, the main incapacity benefit, they showed that 10,600 people had died within 11 months, between January and November 2011. Note that figures for the traditional “suicide season” of December that year were omitted.

The public has had no further information on ESA-related fatalities for three and a half years. It is therefore impossible to calculate whether changes to the benefit system brought in by Iain Duncan Smith have been effective – or whether they have contributed to an increased death toll.

The fact that Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn has been the first to support this motion means that, if he becomes Labour leader, the party will make this matter a priority. None of the other candidates – so far – have expressed any interest in the plight of the long-term sick and disabled.

Vox Political therefore urges readers to contact their MPs – of whatever party; Conservatives are also concerned about this issue; and urge them to support EDM 285.

In addition, those of you who are members of the Labour Party are urged to support Mr Corbyn in his bid for the leadership.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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  1. Florence July 14, 2015 at 11:19 am - Reply

    Mike, those of us in the disabled community cannot express enough thanks for your tireless and selfless work on this issue. You have taken it from the shadows, years of locking horns with the DWP, and now it’s into the light of national & international scrutiny. While it’s fantastic that Corbyn is now championing this, and the EDM is yet another massive milestone, we know without you there wouldn’t be a cause to champion. Thank you, deeply.

    • Mike Sivier July 14, 2015 at 12:58 pm - Reply

      I honestly don’t know what to say. Humbled by comments like this.

  2. Nina July 14, 2015 at 12:25 pm - Reply

    Mike, I have tweeted my MP about this. I will let you know if I get a response.

  3. ian725 July 14, 2015 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    Well done Mike , Florence has said it all and 1000’s are grateful that you have worked so tirelessly towards a successful outcome. It speaks volumes. Corbyn is showing his true colours and will hopefully will gain the position that many of us wish. Again well done Mike!

  4. thelovelywibblywobblyoldlady July 14, 2015 at 4:29 pm - Reply

    All credit to you Mike for keeping this issue in the public eye and well done to Jeremy Corbyn (who I shall be voting to be the Labour Party leader in September)
    I have just e mailed the Labour MP for Cardiff Central (Jo Stevens) to request that she support EDM 285.

  5. hilary772013 July 14, 2015 at 5:00 pm - Reply

    Totally agree with Florence, and a huge thanks from me ..
    Mike do you think it maybe worth mentioning that for £3.00 one off payment you can register as a Labour Supporter which will enable you to vote for the next Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn
    I have posted this on Facebook and Twitter, we need to get as many people voting as possible even if you are not in a union.

  6. Jackie Cairns July 14, 2015 at 8:25 pm - Reply

    I cant understand how IDS is still in this job, When in 2012 He was deemed Interllectually challenged. And was asked by David Cameron to reshuffle, and be Justice minister. He said NO!. and that was the end of that. He was just left to ruin the DWP.How can some one be allowed to talk to there boss like that? and not be sacked. Never mind moved

  7. Mo Stewart July 14, 2015 at 11:53 pm - Reply

    Happy to endorse Florence’s comments. Mike has been tireless in his pursuit of the vitally important figures. Thanks Mike.

  8. Adam Morgan July 15, 2015 at 7:50 am - Reply

    What you have been doing and fighting for years, which has now got to this point proves a point I have always made and I hope that you inspire others to do the same.
    My point I always make is: 1 person can make a difference and 1 person can bring change. From that 1 person support can be amassed and change for better or worse, in your case for the better and hopefully will bring about further change for the better. You now have much support.

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