Remember last year, when This Writer managed to force statistics on deaths of benefit claimants out of Iain Duncan Smith and his Department for Work and Pensions?
They only supplied information on people whose claims had ended within two weeks of their deaths. I argued that this excused the government from declaring many more deaths, of people whose lives ended while they were trying to cope without social security – but the Tories didn’t want to listen.
They still don’t. The Mirror‘s story states: “A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: ‘There is no basis to these claims. People leave the benefits system for many reasons, including when they go to work – which is good news. It’s extremely unlikely anyone would leave the benefit system because of a sanction.'”
How unlikely? Let’s see the statistics, then. Otherwise, it’s the DWP claims that have no basis.
This Writer thinks the Civitas call for an urgent survey of former benefit claimants is an excellent idea.
It would be cheap, easy to manage, and could provide vital information on a Conservative policy that has victimised the most vulnerable people in the UK – people who were relying on the DWP to carry out its duty of care.
As many as 1.5 million benefits claimants could face destitution after disappearing from the welfare system, a report by a respected former Labour minister has warned.
The authorities are failing to keep tabs on why claimants have disappeared from the roll meaning it has no idea how many people are being left penniless, according to Frank Field.
The Work and Pensions Committee chairman said benefit sanctions are being applied on a “scale unknown since the Second World War” and the fate of at a least one third of those who have been penalised is “anybody’s guess.”
Around 1.5 million claimants fall off the welfare roll a year but their whereabouts is a “mystery” and it is unclear how many are left without work or benefit payments, according to Mr Field.
Some may be in jail or have moved abroad while others are people on benefits who have been hit by sanctions and dropped out of the system, according to the research.
The report, which will be published on Monday by think tank Civitas, calls for the Government to carry out an urgent survey to find out what happens to claimants expelled from the welfare rolls who appear not to find work.
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