Lie after lie over sanctions and FoI: Duncan Smith’s head should roll

The inhumanity of Iain Duncan Smith: He is pictured laughing at the plight of a rape victim who, under his 'reforms', has to pay bedroom tax for the panic room she needs in order to be safe from her abusive, rapist ex-partner.

The inhumanity of Iain Duncan Smith: He is pictured laughing at the plight of a rape victim who, under his ‘reforms’, has to pay bedroom tax for the panic room she needs in order to be safe from her abusive, rapist ex-partner.

Iain Duncan Smith must resign after he disgraced himself yet again, with a leaflet containing fabricated comments from non-existent DWP benefit claimants, according to a leading Opposition MP.

Debbie Abrahams, who has been a leading light in the fight to force the Conservative Government to reveal the true number of people who have died following Duncan Smith’s “welfare reforms”, said the Work and Pensions secretary’s behaviour was a “disgrace” and his position was untenable.

But don’t take This Writer’s word for it – here’s Ms Abrahams herself (all boldings mine):

“As a member of the work and pensions select committee, I have called for Iain Duncan Smith to resign following revelations that his department created a leaflet about sanctions containing made-up quotes attributed to non-existent benefit claimants.

“I instigated an inquiry into the use of sanctions by the work and pensions committee, which reported in March this year, and I believe after being caught out so publicly it must be impossible for Iain Duncan Smith to continue as work and pensions secretary and he should do the honourable thing and resign.

“This is yet another example of not only his incompetence, but what can only be described as very shady and unscrupulous behaviour not befitting a Member of Parliament let alone a Secretary of State leading a Government Department.

“Once again, Duncan Smith is caught trying to paint a particular picture of social security claimants. He is a disgrace and should do the honourable thing and resign. When his own department have to resort to this sort of tactic, in a desperate attempt to make it appear as though the system is working, no-one can be left believing that his draconian social security sanctions regime is fit for purpose.

“Only Mr Duncan Smith seems to believe that unfair and inappropriate use of sanctions on vulnerable social security claimants is acceptable. And now he’s shown that he thinks it’s acceptable for his department to produce literature that is fabricated in a desperate attempt to make people believe his sanctions regime is working fairly.

“It beggars belief that David Cameron can, in the light of this embarrassing debacle, continue to back Mr Duncan Smith as a credible work and pensions secretary when he has presided over such a catalogue of errors.

“In the last few weeks alone, the independent Social Security Advisory Committee has produced a report which says that the Government’s sanctions regime should be given ‘an urgent and robust review’.

“And following the Government’s appeal against the Information Commissioner’s ruling compelling the Government to publish figures on the number of people on Incapacity Benefit and Employment and Support Allowance who have died between November 2011 and May 2014, including those found fit for work, a Tribunal has now been set for November 10 to hear why Iain Duncan Smith has refused to publish these data.

“I will never forget the fact that not only did Iain Duncan Smith defy the Information Commissioner’s ruling to provide these data on deaths of people on social security, but that he stated to me, personally, in Parliament, it did not exist. But then, just two days later, the Prime Minister said to me, again in Parliament, the data would be published, only for the DWP’s appeal documents to defy him as well, stating publication was not in the public interest!

“The select committee inquiry which I instigated reported in March and the mountain of evidence that was put before the select committee by religious organisations, academics and charities, not to mention those actually affected by inappropriate sanctions themselves, pointed overwhelmingly to a system that is inhumane and deliberately created to skew unemployment figures.

“The sad truth is that Iain Duncan Smith is doing everything he can to cover up the mess he has created.

“This is a mess that is ruining innocent people’s lives and, as the evidence suggests, even killing some.

“The only credible reason he’s going to such lengths to hang on to his job is because he knows he has so much to hide.”

A petition on the Government website, calling for a vote of “no confidence” in Iain Duncan Smith and his removal from office, may be signed here.

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65 thoughts on “Lie after lie over sanctions and FoI: Duncan Smith’s head should roll

  1. graeme hannigan

    this man needs sacking and thrown in the Thames for what he’s done to the people in this once nice country of ours.

  2. amnesiaclinic

    I think he may go. But the whole government has to go and we could get this if there is enough evidence on the benefit death statistics. Problem is, as we know they are very good at deflecting and burying news.
    Which makes me think there may be something nasty coming up…
    Good for her!!
    She shouldn’t be a lone voice.

  3. Adam Hester

    It would be great if there is a meeting that the minutes be published to the public on request

  4. jeffrey davies

    culling the stock rtu ids way but i wonder will the peasants rise if they new the true figure of deaths under their rule jeff3

  5. ian725

    Its the entire Government that needs to be sacked not only I.D.S. He, I.D.S. is a Philistine and has no place in any Government same goes for his Boss.

  6. Rupert Mitchell (@rupert_rrl)

    I’ve already signed that petition and I am truly grateful both to you Mike and certainly to Ms Abrahams for the article which is one of the clearest I have ever read. I just wish I was able to express my views with the same expertise.

  7. Tony Dean

    Snippets from this link.

    The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) has launched an investigation into the DWP after benefit claimant testimonies on leaflets were found to be fabricated.

    The body has written to DWP asking whether it had any part in the production of the leaflet which featured fake benefits claimants ‘Zac’ and ‘Sarah’.

    The President of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), Sarah Pinch FCIPR MIOD, has responded to a report first published by Welfare Weekly, that the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) fabricated quotes and images in information packs on benefits sanctions, issuing the following statement.

    Sarah Pinch FCIPR, CIPR President 2015

    Falsely creating the impression of independent, popular support is a naïve 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.

    All CIPR Members are publicly accountable for the standard of their professional conduct, and the conduct of those under their management. This accountability is a valuable asset to the public, to Members and to those who employ them.

    Honest regard for the public interest; delivering reliable and accurate information; and never misleading clients, employers or others are vital components of proper professional practice.

    Any CIPR Member found to be breaking any of our ethical principles, will be held accountable for their actions.

    Sarah Pinch FCIPR, CIPR President 2015

  8. Dave

    Iain Duncan Smith resign? Don’t be silly! He’s an old hand at what he does and an even older hand at claiming qualifications he hasn’t achieved. He claims to have attended a prestigious Italian university, Perugia, which I suppose he did, but only a short business course. He was exposed by the BBC for this. No wonder the tories want rid of the BBC.
    But a man like him should not be in British politics, even he is too bad for that – and it’s a strong field.

  9. Paul C. Dickie

    As he is a member of the Church of Rome, and as he has told lies time and time again with no apparent signs of remorse, can we get him refused absolution for his confessed sins on the basis that he does not even know the meaning of contrition?

  10. Syed Hasan

    This lying and manipulating Secretary of State is a disgrace to this Government. The sooner the Government can get rid of him the better. Keeping him only strengthens the Labour claim that all Tories in general are heartless Upper Class and without God.

  11. William White

    Ian DUNGHILL Smith, should be sacked, he will never resign owing to the fact that he has no compassion and is the most devious man in the NASTY TORY PARTY, he is not fit to be a M.P., He would have fitted well into the Nazi Party, as the modern day Himmler.

  12. mr citisen

    he shouldn’t resign he should be sacked murdering sack of s*** b*****d as he is how many have died under his dwp f*** up drag his a$$ to the Hague and get him to answer for the unwarranted deaths he has caused !!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Josie Brandon

    This wicked man should be in prison,why has Cameron chosen to turn a blind eye?shame on them all.josebrandon

  14. Harold Ennis

    I fully support the removal of smith and I had a letter printed in the Daily mirror this week stating the same, this man is a disgrace.

  15. R Davies

    Such information surely is of great public interest. Far more important than a public servants apparent grotesque misuse of power in attempts to bury proof of incompetence on a monumental scale.

  16. Arthur Wilson

    Totally agree with the above article, but let’s not forget, Ian Duncan Smith is merely a symptom of the problem. He wouldn’t be where he is without the wholehearted support of his boss, David Cameron. As such it’s the Tory government as a whole and their condescending and inhumane disregard for the plight of those less well off than themselves that allows IDS to pursue such policies unimpeded. Treating the poor as though they are deserving of punishment for their plight is about as insensitive and inhumane as it’s possible to get. The whole rotten government are responsible by association in my view.

  17. steve

    Unfortunately IDS will see all criticism and calls to resign as a badge of honour and of course he is body armour for Cameron and Osborne who will ditch him when it suits the political moment.

  18. Gill Hamper

    The fact that his treatment of the poor, sick and disabled has caused even one death should have made his methods be questioned by other politicians from the start. To have to enquire about how many have died is shameful, and although he doesn’t care surely someone in the government does. Or maybe not.

  19. Nick

    IDS wont go but if corbyn becomes leader then he make sure that IDS faces trial as well as Blair for crimes against humanity

  20. David

    He WON’T resign because he has no honour, everything about what he has done since the ConDem government and now the FullCon Government got in.

    Punish the most vulnerable

    Gandhi – “judge a society by how it treats its most vulnerable members”

    Is that the BIG society Cameron talked about?

    Bedroom Tax, punishing disabled and people dying of lung failure for having a 2nd room for equipment for their disability. They always quote the discretionary money they give local councils, but this is for 16 weeks or less and requires they move.

    THERE ARE NO PROPERTIES FOR THEM TO MOVE TO and the properties they live in have been adapted.

    Bedroom tax has not saved a penny

    Public Finance committes says cost of The Universal Credit system estimated at £13bn, expected to exceed cost of NHS IT system which was predicted at £20bn over 20 years but only cost £2bn and is at least in use.

    Universal credit system has been scrapped once already and new system had bad data architecture, absolute schoolboy errors, they forgot to include fields from old system so data can’t be migrated or data will be lost. Data we need.

    Even if you looked at new forms, the 53 page ESA form, 24 page Work Capability form and the 50 odd page PIP form have many duplicated fields.

    The PIP scoring system is designed to exclude people, each questiion in the scoring has 5 levels of incremental difficulty, yet the first 3 have the SAME SCORE score of 2 points (not incremental), then 4 then 6.

    So to get the required 15 points claimants need to get 8 questions with 2 points.

    People typically will have physical or mental disabilty, but only profoundly disabled have both physical (unable to walk very far) and Mental (unable to dress for self etc).

    This means that many many thousands of vulnerable people are completely excluded, but that is deliberate. What you might hope and expect is the first three levels to increase incrementally, (e.g. 2,3,and 4 points for the first three levels of each question, then 6 and 8). If you read these scoring levels you would agree with me.

    Iain Smith (forget the Duncan it is just his middle name that he uses because he does not want to be a boring cnut) has no conscience at all.

    They cut the distance you are able to walk to get a disabled badge to a distance that is barely out of your house. This will mean that disabled people will lose their mobility and not be able to afford cars thus forcing them to stay at home and get massively depressed.

    Now they have done a U turn on their promise to limit the money take for care home support, this was a manifesto pledge (worth nothing).

    Now they are cutting ESA to the base JSA level, as it is you have to wait 16 weeks to get it and you do not get free prescriptions for all ESA claimants,many ESA claimants have 4 or more medications a month at over £8 each cutting the £73 a week to £65.

    Bear in mind that MP’s were angry at losing a £15 daily allowance for a single meal (5 days gives an MP more than ESA for 7 days)

    Is it any wonder that the suicide rate for over 50’s has increased massively?

    Disabled people need hope and a minimum standard of living,

    iain “done con smith” will not resign, he is amoral.

    What would be great would be for him to have some sort of car accident and become disabled and unable to work himself, thus becoming a recipient of the misery he has created for so many. I can only hope.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I don’t recommend that anybody wishes ill on other people. While it would be poetic justice, it’s bad for the soul.

    2. Mr.Angry

      Sorry not anger sheer hatred for a mass murderer, IDS hit by a car not harsh enough by any means, one would hope it took six hours to get an ambulance to the scene (another of their failures). By that time we could all set up a street party and block the ambulance from attending and dance around in a circle singing Ahalalulia.

  21. Jerry

    Perhaps I’m misunderstanding things here, but the scheduling details of the statistics to be published, as laid down on the No Confidence Petition link states that the statistics will be published of those who have died whilst on Out-of Work Benefits. It makes no mention of those who have died whilst being sanctioned. Surely this is the whole point of this campaign?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      No. The issue of sanctions has been mixed in mistakenly by some commentators.
      My FoI request was simply about people who have died while claiming benefits. It followed failed requests by others who had simply asked for a follow-up to the DWP’s statistical release of mid-2012, which was itself in response to a FoI request. The intention was to have follow-up information that could be compared in a like-for-like way with the information that had already been requested and provided.
      The DWP wasn’t having any of that, because the revelation that 10,600 people had died in an 11-month period had sparked a wave of bad publicity for Iain Duncan Smith’s “welfare reforms”. From then on, the order went out that any news about sickness and disability benefits must be presented as good news, and a moratorium was put on statistical releases.
      Did you know, for example, that a secondary reason for refusing my first FoI request was that the information was being prepared for publication, but there was no release date at the time (this was in 2013)? When I wrote my second (the current request), the DWP changed its tune about this, saying that I had been given that information by mistake and it was not true at the time – but was true now.
      It seems clear to me that the “mistake” was nothing of the kind and the intention had been simply to make me go away. How can anyone believe an organisation that behaves in such a manner?

      Consider now the panic at Caxton House, home of the DWP, at the arrival of my submission to the tribunal. I sent it on August 18, and it stated very clearly that I was applying for the DWP’s appeal against my FoI request to be struck out. The next day, the DWP announced that it would be publishing its ‘Age-Standardised Mortality Rate’ statistics, which the Department claims won’t say how many people have died, on August 27.

      It seems clear to me that this is another tactic to divert the public away from the main issue. The DWP is hoping people will believe a claim that it has released the figures that were requested. Ratios are not what I wanted; I wanted figures that could be compared with the previous release.

  22. doylejim5

    What was nauseating was watching the utter delight in him and cronies at
    these cuts being passed-they were like children who had just got ice-cream

  23. Gusman Jones

    He’s allowed to stay until he’s done his hatchet job. He’s hardcore in a hardcore Gov’t. Then retire with a fat pension and on the board of some nice outsource company, ATOS, maybe and a Lordship. “Treble(s) all round”

  24. martin

    The decent thing to do after the recent shameful IDS / DWP scandal should be to resign.
    What this latest squalid episode shows is:

    Government is Antoinesque.
    Politics is broken.
    Democracy is dead.
    Parliament is not fit for purpose.
    Government has become the enemy of the People.

    This government is corrupt.
    The corruption is absolute, lead from the top down, and out of control.
    Being rotten to the core and from the core, everything it touches it taints.
    Having neither the will nor ability to change, outside intervention is indicated.

    Any persons who fail to act appropriately when faced with corruption,
    or condone in any way the actions of those determined as corrupt,
    become, by definition, corrupt themselves.

    There comes a time when, for the sake of humanity, society and civilisation,
    it is not only the choice of a person to throw out corrupt governance,
    but a duty.

    The banksters are but one part of ‘the establishment ‘ that depends upon corruption to exist.
    The inextricable entanglement is both endemic and systemic.

    It is those in power who are the terrorists, having destroyed our society from within.

  25. sasson1

    Any male (or female) M.P. who can sit there laughing, whilst the traumatic details of another person’s life are being spoken about, deserves the sack, let alone all of the other despicable things that IDS has done. That wasn’t the first time either, and many other MPs sat there laughing.

    Where is the dignity of office in all of that? I don’t think I ever saw this sort of behaviour from any other ruling government in my lifetime. I know PMQs were always ‘noisy’ to say the least, but I never heard or saw such total disrespect for vulnerable people.

    As I always say, many of those laughing and cawing MPs are churchgoers, including IDS: God help them when they meet their maker.

  26. AlbertH

    The way he has cut “winter” fuel benefits for some expat pensioners with a convoluted way of saying some countries are too hot in winter compared to the UK is scandalous. In some countries the “winter” payment is needed to offset the high electricity bills for cooling in the high heat of summer, that some expats can’t afford. Does he not understand that extreme heat kills old folk just like cold does?

  27. Chris Bergin

    The fact that this creature was once tory leader means he knows where those bodies are buried. SO, blackmail maybe keeps him in and of course relations in High Places.

  28. A-Brightfuture

    “Gawd elp us”..If this glossy little leaflet is the best the DWP can come up with after playing all their dirty tricks, then i feel that they have run out of ideas.

    All this leaflet is, is a ass saving, desperate last chance attempt to save themselves from the ever impending debate of the not so positive aspects of the sanctions policy.

    Goodbye IDS, it was not nice knowing you, in fact it was bloody nauseating.

    And take the rest of the Tories with you!!


    I can say that this article is totally true. I volunteer for the local Foodbank and a lot of the people that come through our doors are there because of this man’s policies.

  30. Nick

    Duncan Smith was educated at what is now St. Peter’s RC Secondary School, Solihull, until the age of 14,[6] then at HMS Conway, a Merchant Navy training school on the Isle of Anglesey (where he [clarification needed] played rugby union in the position of fly-half alongside Clive Woodward at centre) until he was 18.
    His claim that he studied at the University of Perugia was later found to be false after an investigation by the BBC.[7] His office subsequently admitted that he attended the Italian Università per Stranieri (founded 1921) in Perugia for a year but he did not obtain any qualifications or finish his exams.[7] In 1975 he attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and was subsequently commissioned into the Scots Guards.[8] Duncan Smith’s biography, on the Conservative Party website, claimed he was “educated at Dunchurch College of Management” but following questioning by the BBC his office confirmed that he did not get any qualifications there either, stating that he completed six separate courses lasting a few days each, adding up to about a month in total.[7] Dunchurch was the former staff college for GEC Marconi, for whom Duncan Smith worked in the 1980s.[7]

    1. ian725

      “Commissioned Into The Scots Guards” HA!! Another bought for, Pampered Brat, of whom there are just too many in the Army. Bet The Guards were relieved to see the back of him.

  31. K L

    THAT my friend s is what you get when you VOTE.
    They couldn’t care less about you.
    You give your permission for them to lie and screw you over.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      So lots of people with a social conscience stop voting and lots of Conservative Party supporters carry on. The Tories then win every election with an overwhelming majority and continue screwing over everybody who doesn’t have massive inherited wealth or own their own multinational company.

      I don’t see how that helps anybody so I will not be following your advice.
      You clearly haven’t thought it through.

  32. Jim Round

    As a couple of commenters have already stated, unfortunately, he isn’t going anywhere before 2020 at least.

    1. bumblenest

      how many more will die before then ?? It’s 4 n half years away mate wonder if ids can walk the streets alone un guarded

      1. Jim Round

        Over the next four and a half years, many thousands unfortunately.
        There was, IIRC a “recall your MP” spoken about in the run up to the 2010 election, didn’t happen.
        Also, Michael Gove was removed from being education minister, why him and not Duncan-Smith?
        Whilst Mikes fight for the release of benefit death figures is highly commendable, IDS and his acolytes are fighting tooth and nail to either doctor, or make sure the figures are not released at all.
        Even if they ARE released, I doubt they will have the impact many of us hope, such is modern society.

  33. mohandeer

    David Cameron broke 10 of the twelve pledges he made back in 2010 why should he care if IDS and Osborne are both incompetent and remorseless? The man in charge is no better.
    have signed Debbie Abrams petition.

  34. Human Decency

    The Scum out There who are Brainwashed like Scum in Nazi Germany to Believe
    that the Poor and Vulnerable are ” Scroungers ” are Not only Out of Touch they
    are Pure Evil

    It Makes me Sick the Oblivious Attitude of too Many out There

  35. mrmarcpc

    IDS’s arse should’ve been sacked as soon as the first death happened, he should’ve gotten the boot then, but they weren’t going to because his fellow tories are right behind him and so he will not be fired, the only way he will is if we keep the pressure on them and get the other gutless parties to wake up, stand up and join alongside us, if we can do that, then the press and the government will have to take notice and do something because if we don’t do anything, he will keep on going and more will die, and everybody should realise that that’s what he and the tories want!

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