Zac and Sarah don’t exist – why should we believe anything from the DWP?

'Sarah' - she doesn't exist and her story is a fake.

‘Sarah’ – she doesn’t exist and her story is a fake.

How can we trust the Department for Work and Pensions’ figures on incapacity benefit claimants’ deaths when we’ve had scandal after scandal from it over falsified evidence?

The Department for Work and Pensions has been caught out in another lie – this time over the existence of people in two fake ‘case studies’ used to promote its cruel, unfair and vindictive sanctions regime.

‘Sarah’ was quoted praising the DWP for threatening to withdraw benefits if she refused to complete her CV, while ‘Zac’ praised the new benefit rules, which had allowed him to continue receiving his money because he had offered proof of a hospital appointment.

'Zac' - he doesn't exist either and his story has also been faked by the DWP.

‘Zac’ – he doesn’t exist either and his story has also been faked by the DWP.

There’s only one problem – neither ‘Sarah’ nor ‘Zac’ exist.

The woman posing as ‘Sarah’ was also pictured in another government blog, The Daily Job Seeker, which offers advice on interview tips along with techniques and information about Universal Credit.

The DWP has been forced to admit that their comments were among a series of quotes on leaflets that were “fabricated” for “illustrative purposes”. All references to ‘Zac’ and ‘Sarah’ have now been removed from the various DWP information outlets.

The revelation that the DWP has been lying about its policies, using fake identities, has aroused yet another storm of protest against the Department and its Secretary of State, Iain Duncan Smith, the former Army bag-carrier who, This Blog maintains, should be removed from office as SNLR – ‘Services No Longer Required’.

It seems the DWP is claiming this blockhead had no knowledge of the deception, but it is impossible to accept this claim. The fictional accounts are intended to justify his failing policies and it is impossible to believe that civil servants would have created them if he had not demanded it.

Labour leadership frontrunner Jeremy Corbyn was quoted saying: “It is a damning indictment that civil servants are now being forced to make up quotes to cover for the failed political agendas of ministers, after the numerous debacles of Universal Credit, the work capability assessment, and the delays facing disabled people trying to get personal independence payments.”

Further embarrassment is in store for the DWP, after the industry body responsible for regulating the behaviour of organisations producing public relations material, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), launched an investigation into whether any of its members were involved.

CIPR president Sarah Pinch said: “Falsely creating the impression of independent, popular support is a naive and opaque technique which blatantly disregards the CIPR’s standards of ethical conduct. It is deeply disappointing if public relations professionals allowed it to be published.”

“A naïve and opaque technique which blatantly disregards… standards of ethical conduct.”

Let’s look at the DWP’s planned publication of Age-Standardised Mortality Rates for claimants of benefits including Incapacity Benefit, Employment and Support Allowance, and Several Disablement Allowance.

Firstly, we must ask why these figures are being prepared by the Department for Work and Pensions, and not by the Office for National Statistics (the organisation that has produced other age-standardised figures for the UK Government). Why?

The DWP and its representatives in Parliament have claimed that the creation of ASMRs has been undertaken by the Department, in order to meet “the high standards expected” by the UK Statistics Authority. Has anybody seen evidence that the UKSA has made any such demand?

Considering the ASMRs themselves, they provide a rate of deaths, per a certain number of the population, in comparison with the death rate among the population as a whole. It seems they are primarily used to predict future deaths. But the number of people on ESA is constantly fluctuating, meaning that a ‘standardised’ rate will be misleading – especially as we are led to believe the figures used will cover a 10-year period between 2004 and 2014.

Even if the DWP publishes a year-by-year analysis, the death rate per, say, 1,000 will not tell the whole story as a lower ratio in a year when more people were claiming may mask a higher number of deaths.

And that’s if the DWP is using reliable figures in the first place!

The only way to have factual accuracy from this lying tool of Conservative Party ideology is to have the data on which it is based – the genuine numbers of people who have died.

That’s what the Tribunal hearing on benefit-related deaths is all about.

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:



  1. NMac August 20, 2015 at 2:53 pm - Reply

    Well Duncan-Smith has a history of telling lies and inventing things that don’t really exist. Outright lies on his CV and a fictitious job for his millionaire wife, which didn’t actually exist.

  2. thomassutcliffe August 20, 2015 at 3:19 pm - Reply

    You are so right about this. Personally I would accompany IDS’s P45 with a single ticket to the Hague to be done for crimes against humanity.

  3. Chris Kitcher August 20, 2015 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    I would be interested to know what the idiots boss is doing about this. Lies lies and more lies from DWP’s. Surely Camoron can’t support this useles creature any longer?

  4. Di ane August 20, 2015 at 3:33 pm - Reply
    this made me laugh in fact: I haven’t laughed so much in ages, as I have at the #fakeDWPstories

  5. jeffrey davies August 20, 2015 at 3:47 pm - Reply

    hum rtu ids tell the truth its like asking the sea to part but then telling great porkies hes got them all doing it has our rtu ids

  6. Tony Dean August 20, 2015 at 3:51 pm - Reply

    Mike, you really have a serious blind spot about the format of off flows due to death.
    There are currently around 2.6 million people on ESA and related benefits.
    IF they were the same as the general working age population around 7450 would die every year.
    As it is around 60/1000/annum die every year or, 156000 per year.
    700000 people parked on mandatory reconsideration went down to 500000 after one year. The number on ESA did not go up by 200000 and neither did those in work go up by 200000, so where did the major part of that 200000 go.
    They are not on any other benefit or in work, so the DWP is between a rock and a hard place if they try and fiddle any stats because of what is already published and public domain.
    I have already emailed the DWP statistical department and explained to them trying to fool me is going to be a waste of their time.

    • Mike Sivier August 20, 2015 at 4:18 pm - Reply

      No, I don’t have a blind spot at all.
      Your numbers are interesting and we’ll see how they bear out over the next few months.

  7. mrmarcpc August 20, 2015 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    Should we be not surprised in the least, any dirty tactic they can think of, they’ll do!

  8. Mr.Angry August 20, 2015 at 5:58 pm - Reply

    Mike you are starting to put the fear of God into IDS evil schemes keep it up let’s see what his next devious lies bring into the media. It’s starting to crack well done you. He will be brought to justice when all is revealed, enough is enough. He missed his true vocation with the SS sadly he was not intelligent enough to meet their criteria, he is going it alone for how much longer is anybody guess.

  9. Joan Edington August 20, 2015 at 7:45 pm - Reply

    I think IDS is learning from the Better Together campaign, or maybe it was his idea even then. Leaflets were sent out from every Tory constituency office with similar stories of people who had their opinions on why the Union was great. They were caught out since, although the names of the families were changed (usually to one of a known Tory or associate) they were word for word identical. Same old “illustrative purposes” I suppose they would say.

    • Mike Sivier August 20, 2015 at 8:24 pm - Reply

      Can you provide examples of this?

      • Joan Edington August 21, 2015 at 11:01 am - Reply

        I can’t find the images I had of the leaflets but the link is to an article in The Edinburgh Evening News, local sister paper of The Scotsman which was pro-union, so had nothing to gain. If I can find the copies of the leaflets I’ll let you know.

        • Mike Sivier August 21, 2015 at 12:01 pm - Reply

          Hmm. Members of a party giving exactly the same answers to different questions from constituents doesn’t seem like dishonesty, exactly… To me, it’s more that they’ve been told, “This is what you say if they ask about…” pensions, in the case of the first example in the Edinburgh News piece. It’s like when Ed Miliband was asked different permutations of the same question six times and provided the same answer every time. He looked very silly doing it but there was no hope for him because that’s all he was given to say.
          Going back to the Scottish Tories, it just shows a lack of imagination or intelligence on their part, that they couldn’t paraphrase what they were given, to make an answer that fitted the question.

      • Joan Edington August 21, 2015 at 12:12 pm - Reply

        I think you missed the point, Mike. If I could find the copies (unfortunately I put mine straight in the bin like all other Tory propaganda at the time). It wasn’t just that the answers were the same. The questions, from supposedly different people all over Scotland, were identical, word for word. These people did not exist, just as in this latest case by the DWP.

        • Mike Sivier August 21, 2015 at 12:33 pm - Reply

          Ah! Sorry, I see what you mean now. The article does make it clear.

  10. barrabus August 21, 2015 at 10:23 am - Reply

    DWP/ Prospects……..Banal course’s with bogus certificates, taught by condescending x primary school teachers, endless job applications for positions you know you won’t get for the majority of jobs advertised by firms already have someone in mind 4 the job, but have to advertise the job by law. Making models out of play doh in the shape of the barrier that is stopping you getting a job, I asked her how old does she think we are?
    These are just some of the ridiculous mandatory follies required to be in receipt of esa. The pressure of being sanctioned looms on their “clients” everyday and some people breakdown….I did….. I am working on an album of reggae songs at the moment, got 7 tunes done so far and need a decent recording mike for the sax, they don’t want to know about that, no funding nothing ! They are more interested in wasting my time on courses so I cant get on with what I should be doing. (mind you I suppose it would come art and culture) which seems to be frowned upon in middle England these days.
    They would rather me apply for jobs in warehouses that I can no longer physically do after years of physical work abuse and a back operation.
    Alternatively they try and force you into a zero hour contract sticking mushrooms on pizza’a or whatever.
    I asked the other week if any thought had been given to the health and safety risk to existing employees of a company by having to employ someone who is mentally or physically unfit for the job. I asked where is the governments foresight……It went very quiet so I asked if he had just seen the the tumbleweed blow through. I’m sure half of what I say go’s over his head, either that or he just wants rid of me.
    I don’t know of anyone from the place I go to that has ever given them a positive report about the effectiveness of the DWP, so I am not surprised they had to fabricate these testimonies. Government schemes all fail because the ideas come from people who don’t live in the same communities or under the conditions their policies they create for us to live under…thir that out of touch that they simply don’t understand.
    I rang head office to try and find out who in their right mind compiled the questions for one particular course I was on concerning the retail sector, the questions were so repetitive it was even embarrassing for the tutor. I got the brush off of course, but they did get off my back in my local office……Don’t just take the cr** they dish out, stand your ground attend all the courses and be as disruptive as possible they can’t sanction you for your opinion.

  11. Paul C. Dickie August 21, 2015 at 4:12 pm - Reply

    Did the models for Sarah and Zac give their express consent for their faces to be used as they were?

    If express consent was neither sought nor granted, the models may have a case for a claim for damages.

  12. mrmarcpc August 24, 2015 at 2:34 pm - Reply

    For this alone, IDS and his sidekick should be sacked, blatant lies, if we did this, we’d have the full force of the establishment to deal with, hope the petition that’s going round reaches an all time high and both he and she get the boot, I’ve signed it too!

  13. MsM August 29, 2015 at 3:53 pm - Reply

    Only last week, my coach advised me that my husband could go out to work on a building site even though he doesn’t have a valid work visa yet, she pointed out that that’s how many illegal immigrants are making a living and that as such I don’t have to claim income support for myself and my children.

    ‘You do realise that’s illegal and would effect my husbands renewal visa application’ – says Me

    ‘YES AND I AM IN NO WAY ADVISING YOU DO TO DO ANYTHING ILLEGAL, I was simply mentioning it’ – My adviser says in a very loud voice so that everyone on the floor could hear.

    Every week I’m there, there are women crying, because they’ve been asked why they even have children, and whether they’ve had them simply to get benefits.

    One man was humiliated because his level of English was not up to par.

    It’s sickening, and I hoping my husband get’s his visa soon.

Leave A Comment