Merseyside MP renews pressure to reveal death toll after “fit for work” tests

Marie Rimmer is This Writer’s favourite of the new intake of MPs since the general election.

She has only been in Parliament for two months and already she is working hard, from the Opposition benches, to help make life a little more tolerable and create a real difference for the sick and disabled people who are at the mercy of our grotesque government.

At the time of writing, the Early Day Motion has attracted 63 signatures from the five parties and one independent named below.

As for the final point… that’s at the end.

The Merseyside MP’s early day motion may prove an embarrassment for the government as 47 Labour, SNP, SDLP, Plaid Cymru, DUP and independent MPs have now signed it.

This level of cross-party backbench support for the motion is unusually high, with only around 1 in 10 early day motions normally gathering 50 signatures or more.

Marie Rimmer, who only joined the Commons in May 2015, said: “Almost three weeks ago, the Prime Minister assured me that the Government would release the data regarding the deaths of those found fit for work by face-to-face assessments.

“Despite these assurances and my letter to him on the 26th June, there is still no indication of when these statistics will be released.

“The Information Commissioner ruled in April that these statistics must be released. It is disgraceful that the Government continues to fail to follow those instructions.

“I will continue to press for the public’s right to have an answer and disclosure on this important matter.”

A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “The government intends to publish the statistics, but before doing so they need to meet the high standards expected by the UK Statistics Authority.”

The DWP comment means the government does not intend to publish the statistics – at least, not as requested in my Freedom of Information request (which is what started this ball rolling).

This, of course, means that the DWP’s excuse for not publishing the actual number of deaths immediately – that it is going to publish them later – is wrong. It isn’t, and any such claim can only be a lie.

The attempt to hide behind the UK Statistics Authority is irrelevant. This claim about “high standards” is motivated by another claim, that the actual number of deaths could be “misinterpreted” if it comes into the public domain. But the Freedom of Information Act is motive-blind. Without being able to hide behind any specific exemption, such as the plan to publish the number of deaths later (allowed by section 22 of the Act), the law says only two requirements must be satisfied: Does the DWP have the information? Yes it does. And can the DWP publish it within the legal expenditure limits? Yes it can.

There will be a tribunal hearing later this year, at which these facts will be spelled out to this errant department.

Sooner or later, the real number of deaths will have to be revealed.

The DWP will save itself a great deal of embarrassment if it publishes that figure now.

Source: Merseyside MP renews pressure to reveal death toll after “fit for work” tests – Liverpool Echo#ICID=sharebar_twitter#ICID=sharebar_twitter

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  1. Nick Fourbanks July 17, 2015 at 11:22 pm - Reply

    I am not so sure mike we seem to be going around in circles here and with the deaths of the sick and disabled and the DWP figures in the forties

    When in-reality the deaths are in the hundreds and that does not include the deaths of the sick and disabled that lived alone and died without any reference in the press

    In addition, there is not one tory mp who has signed the Early Day Motion which means there not even interested in any facts or figures so what is that telling you about this country and how it is run ?

    Personally, I do not think these figures will ever be known as it paints a very dark picture of life in the uk and a blight on those that lead it

    • Mike Sivier July 20, 2015 at 12:37 pm - Reply

      The deaths are in the tens of thousands, Nick – if not more than 100,000 by now.

      • Nick Fourbanks July 20, 2015 at 1:53 pm - Reply

        Well if you are right mike and i’m sure you are then this is a whole new ball game as the mention of thousands of deaths of the sick and disabled could only be dealt with by the The International Court of Justice in the Hague

        it would not be possible to trial the DWP or IDS in the UK as the death toll far exceeds uk law

        This is way out of anything the uk has ever known and only a trial in to how all these sick and disable have died and in what circumstances can only be undertaking by The International Court of Justice in the Hague as far as i’m aware

        • Mike Sivier July 21, 2015 at 12:55 am - Reply

          The important thing is to establish that preventable deaths have been taking place, in high volumes.

    • PhobosandDdeimos July 21, 2015 at 10:20 pm - Reply

      hmmm… It’s not just the deaths that are getting covered-up, it’s all their ATTEMPTS to cause death too.

      Here’s my latest try at reporting the crimes against me –

      See that I CC’d to Marie Rimmer, and loads of others.

      Where are the police?
      INACTION speaks louder than hot air, crocodile tears and necrophilia.

      Will this comment get blocked? The blind-eye turners are just as much to blame.

      • Mike Sivier July 21, 2015 at 11:10 pm - Reply


      • PhobosandDeimos July 22, 2015 at 1:06 pm - Reply

        Mike Sivier said: Necrophilia?

        Sorry, by that I mean – using the dead to make cheap political points.

        Fraud Act, Misconduct in Public Office, Vulnerable Adult Abuse…. and all the rest aren’t exactly that difficult to understand.

        How many MP’s, local councillors, and the rest have *ever* contacted the police on behalf of their LIVING constituents?

        • Mike Sivier July 22, 2015 at 6:49 pm - Reply

          It has been known.
          Necrophilia is actually SLEEPING with the dead to achieve gratification. Probably not a good idea to suggest it with reference to public representatives.

      • PhobosandDeimos July 22, 2015 at 10:36 pm - Reply

        “public representatives”
        lol… Since when? Certainly not me, none of them, quite the opposite.

        “…. achieve gratification”
        It’s called crime and vulnerable adult abuse.

        Checkout my site from time to time, plenty more to come, when I can do it….

  2. Ian July 17, 2015 at 11:44 pm - Reply

    I wonder if the BBC and right wing papers have anything to say when the real figures are released. Given the depravity of most of the press, I’d be surprised if they didn’t try to turn it into a positive or blame the victims.

    Meanwhile, any word on the UN investigation?

  3. ian725 July 18, 2015 at 1:11 am - Reply

    Good for Marie Rimmer and especially since she has managed to achieve so many cross party MP’s signatures. Once again well done Mike for your sheer tenacity.

  4. Rupert Mitchell (@rupert_rrl) July 18, 2015 at 6:55 am - Reply

    Thank you Marie Rimmer!
    If only we had more people with a conscience like you (to fight those in government so entirely lacking in it) the world would be a much better place.

  5. Mr.Angry July 18, 2015 at 7:13 am - Reply

    Good on Marie, keep it up Cameron is starting to get the message, “most transparent government” not.

  6. visualjaz July 18, 2015 at 8:11 am - Reply

    Yep! She’s my local MP. I’m sure she will be sick of reading my letters, regarding this and other important issue’s. This is the most corrupt Government I have ever known. We need more MP’s like Marie. I just hope Jeremy Corbyn wins the leadership campaign.. fingers crossed on that one..

    • ian725 July 18, 2015 at 4:43 pm - Reply

      Visual’.. I agree that may be so, however politics was corrupt in previous times particularly in the 1980’s in my memory and History shows many other times in the past. Politicians cannot help themselves they need to be born with the gift to lie barefaced. Yet there have been and still are a few that actually serve the people and stick to the job they were elected for .. To serve their constituents and the nation.

  7. Poster July 18, 2015 at 9:26 am - Reply

    Some bad news. Information Watchdog says DWP does not need to release secret reviews it previously held into 49 benefit deaths.

  8. Tobanem July 18, 2015 at 9:57 am - Reply

    Have you seen the front page of the Independent today on the end of the FoI?:

  9. hilary mellor July 18, 2015 at 11:35 am - Reply

    Marie, THANK YOU for raising the profile on Fit notes and the sheer lack of respect of what is the worst time of our life’s being run by this conservative sham of corruption and greed, they have no morals or respect for the law. Keep fighting

  10. hugosmum70 July 18, 2015 at 12:23 pm - Reply

    wouldn’t surprise me if they don’t destroy the documentation with the figures on them sooner than publish them/. (may have already done so for all we know)must be really damning to them for them to not comply and make so many excuses for not complying

    • wildswimmerpete July 20, 2015 at 6:36 pm - Reply

      ……….I suspect the DWP’s industrial shredders are working 24/7

  11. Gary Aronsson July 18, 2015 at 12:47 pm - Reply

    Anyone who has access to a TV guide for the week ahead should spend a few minutes studying the content of the stuff being beamed into our homes.Even a cursory glance will reveal that a serious and sustained propaganda campaign is underway which aims to demonise all those on Benefits.
    In recent years we have seen things like the Special Olympics become mainstream and the heavily covered trip to the South Pole by disabled British War Veterans.All of this coverage was intended to reduce the general publics sympathy for the disabled,to make us view them as being much healthier and stronger than they generally are and so less deserving of a helping hand.The closure of REMPLOY,was achieved with hardly a murmur from the public and my disgust with my fellow citizens reached a new high point.
    The last week has seen a constant drip of anti-claimant propaganda such as Benefit Britain,Benefits By the Sea,Jaywick. All of this less than subtle stuff will none the less have a divisive effect and result in making it ever easier to stuff it to those who have least.

    If any TV executive is looking for new program ideas he could do worse than study how the Ruling Elite have got ever wealthier over the last decade,how the Bankers,remember them?,have succeeded in making it electorally popular to make the POOR pay for the mistakes of the RICH!

    If the Banks are too big to be allowed to fail then they are too big to be allowed to be part of the private sector.I never enjoyed any part of their profits so why am I responsible for their losses.At the very least RBS and TSB should have remained in public hands until they had repaid every penny of what we the public gave them to save their Saville Row tailored arses. But instead we get left with the losses,the banks get a clean balance sheet and we flog them off for a fraction of what they are now worth free of the toxic crap they landed the British taxpayer with.

    While not one single banker was ever even cautioned by the police for crashing the entire British economy the number of people being prosecuted for Benefit fraud rises daily.Yet even the government admits that Benefit Fraud each year is less than 2%,under payment of Corporation Tax is well over 60 times more expensive at a conservative estimate of £120 BILLION per year.So we pursue the very poorest for fiddling the system while at the same time giving them the responsibility for paying off the bill run up by the very richest!
    And our electorate has actually endorsed this, f**k em all!

    • JohnDee July 20, 2015 at 1:30 pm - Reply

      Errrm, I think you have overdosed on the Daily Mail and benefit porn on TV, Gary. You’ve overestimated benefit fraud by almost three times (actual fraud: 0.7% @ £1.1billion, whereas DWP admin error doled out £700 million too much) according to the DWP’s own latest figures!

      Still, don’t feel so bad Gary, the propaganda has been so effective on lamestream media that most people think benefit fraud is around 20% – 30%. Ask anyone you know. If only they knew!

      But thanks for reminding us that personal and corporate Tax Evasion is costing an estimated £120 billion (wasn’t it Oxfam who came up with that figure?).

      But however shocking that is, it doesn’t include the huge subsidies paid in Corporate Benefits estimated at a further £85 billion – in training and credit guarantee – for example! Did you know that Amazon paid less in corporation tax to the UK than it had received in government grants?

      When are people going to WAKE UP!

  12. crazytrucker1951 July 18, 2015 at 3:24 pm - Reply

    Isn’t Marie Rimmer the lady who gave that awful McVey woman the order of the Giant Hobnail Boot?
    Anyway good on yer Marie keep on pressurising the oafish twerp Camoron and sooner or later the penny will drop and he’ll realise that the Country hates him, well the best part of it anyway, the decent part, the honest part.

    • Mike Sivier July 20, 2015 at 2:18 am - Reply

      No, she’s St Helen’s South and Whiston, not either of the Wirral constituencies.

  13. JohnDee July 18, 2015 at 10:54 pm - Reply

    Given the guargantuan machinations RTU and the (s)tory party have indulged in to prevent the electorate from knowing the real TRUTH, what’s to say the DWP will release the REAL figure of the number of vulnerable people co-erced into an early DEATH on the altar of neolibralism?

    Sorry, but I will have absolutely no faith in any figures released by these sociopathic LIARS after multiple LIES, excuses and evasions that only confirm to any impartial observer such a blatent lack of transparency.

    Are there no DWP insiders with the balls to leak the TRUTH or are you all pleading the Nuremberg ‘jobsworth’ defense? All of you have BLOOD on your hands. The only way to wash it away is to leak the TRUTH. What are you waiting for – your next career assessment? God forgive you.

    • Mike Sivier July 20, 2015 at 2:12 am - Reply

      We know that DWP employees read this blog, so let’s ask those people:
      John Dee has posed a question and we’d like an answer.
      Why don’t you release the information unofficially?

  14. Nina July 19, 2015 at 2:08 pm - Reply

    Hi Mike,

    I was just wondering – it may only be me – but I’m seeing a change in the “standard” response on benefit death stories from:

    “A DWP Spokesman said they could not comment on individual cases.”


    “A DWP Spokesman said It’s wrong to suggest a causal link between the death of an individual and their benefit claim.”

    I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this in a few different places lately.

    Have you noticed it? Has anyone else?

    • Mike Sivier July 20, 2015 at 2:06 am - Reply

      The response has been to say it’s wrong to suggest a causal link ever since my FoI victory became public knowledge at the end of April. They can’t use the comment about individual cases because this issue isn’t about individual cases.

    • Nick Fourbanks July 20, 2015 at 7:30 am - Reply

      Them saying it is wrong to suggest a causal link just goes to show what type of people work at the DWP

      Of course there is a link STRESS KILLS if nothing else when you are ill the lack of money and being told your a cheat would stress anyone to their death providing they have the right type of sickness heart/lung/mental etc

      any doctor will tell you that

  15. Mike Sivier July 20, 2015 at 12:38 pm - Reply

    Tony Dean posted the following comment to the wrong article and has asked me to correct the mistake. Glad to:

    “I find it significant that for the first time ever of contacting MP’s, Government Ministers, and Prime Ministers over the last 30 plus years and getting a reply every time, since contacting my current MP, Derek Thomas, St Ives, Cornwall about the issue of the non release of death statistics I have had no reply.”

  16. mrmarcpc July 30, 2015 at 4:00 pm - Reply

    Keep the pressure up on these b*****ds and make them tell the truth!

  17. John Ingleson July 30, 2015 at 11:36 pm - Reply

    My MP has told me, after consultation with the relevant bods, that the figures will be released no later than the autumn, and will be announced here:

    • Mike Sivier July 31, 2015 at 12:02 pm - Reply

      Yes. The autumn officially ends in December, and the figures will be ‘Age-Standardised Mortality Rates’ – a ratio, rather than the actual numbers, that cannot be used to compare deaths since November 2011 with deaths that took place before that date.
      Your MP is a Conservative, I expect.

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