Three people who killed themselves after being found ‘fit to work’ – The Independent

A coronor has concluded that a man suffering from severe mental illness killed himself as a direct result of being found “fit to work” by the DWP’s benefit tests.

Here are three personal tragedies where the benefits system played.


Malcolm Burge, 66

The former gardener committed suicide last year after a 50 per cent cut in his housing benefit led to him being saddled with an £800 debt he could not pay.

He had made repeated attempts to contact Newham Borough Council, and the day after his death a letter arrived at his home informing him he was the subject of legal action to reclaim the money.

After telling a friend he was going to spend a few days in the West Country, he killed himself in Cheddar Gorge. The DWP underlined that the reduction in Mr Burge’s benefit was not linked to welfare reforms.


David Clapson, 59

The diabetic former soldier was found dead in his Hertfordshire home in July last year after his benefits were cut and he did not apply for hardship payments.

He had been made the subject of “sanctioning” by the DWP, under which employment benefits are stopped for a period following a failure to comply with rules – in this case failing to keep a Job Centre appointment.

Mr Clapson had no food in his stomach and no credit on the electricity card needed to keep the fridge that stored his insulin going. His bank balance was £3.44.


Tim Salter, 53

The former store manager, from Staffordshire, took his life in September 2013 after a work capability assessment (WCA) by contractor Atos ruled he was fit to work despite being partially blind and agoraphobic.

He hanged himself after being told he was about to be evicted from his housing association home.

A coroner ruled that the DWP’s decision to cut Mr Salter’s incapacity benefit had been a “major factor” in his death.

Source: The stories of three people who killed themselves after being found ‘fit to work’ – UK Politics – UK – The Independent

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6 thoughts on “Three people who killed themselves after being found ‘fit to work’ – The Independent

  1. Jeffery Davies

    Yet on it goes they have their roburst talks on it but the great cull still carries on aktion t4 jeff3

  2. wildswimmerpete

    There’s something about Mr. Burge’s tragic case that doesn’t gel. Mr. Burge shouldn’t be on benefits, at 66 he qualified for his State pension and accordingly exempt from the bedroom tax as well as having to pay any council tax. I’m younger than Mr. Burge and I draw my State pension.

  3. David robinson

    After 77 years on this planet I have never known a government as cruel and incompetent as this one.
    Thatcher was bad enough but this bunch are beyond contempt, they will ruin this country in the remaining four and a half years of their dictatorship, and I hope I am still around to see this lot thrown out, and with a bit of luck never to return!

  4. John.

    A single death is a tragedy, thousands are just a statistic. Thanks for showing us who some of these people are.

    What’s needed is a website dedicated to a brief profile for each of these unfortunate people. A grim catalogue of the victims of DWP policy under their serial killer chief IDS.

  5. mrmarcpc

    If he was of pension age, why was he still getting hassle from the bastards, he shouldn’t have been bothered by them anymore, once he hit retirement age, he didn’t have to look for work anymore and not be bothered by the bedroom tax as well and yet he still was and they still hounded him until he sadly took his life, are they changing the rules as they go along, moving the goalposts to suit them, this should never have happened, none of what has gone on by these fascists should never have happened, my sympathies to his family but once again the government has murdered someone!

  6. Daniel Margrain

    I wept after reading that. My God, what have we become in this country. His children and grandchildren will be obviously affected and this aspect of stories like this, are rarely acknowledged. If there is a hell then IDS will go there. .

Comments are closed.