This Site’s article about the Tories wasting more than £100 million in two years on persecuting the sick and disabled made a very important point – that the figures never tie together perfectly because they aren’t intended to.
It seems that the issue is worse than I stated: Esther McVey’s department has been found to have sent one set of figures to the Commons Work and Pensions Committee, and then sent another set – that the DWP had told the committee weren’t available – in response to a Freedom of Information request.
So the DWP has been deliberately trying to hide information from MPs.
Now, why would anybody want to do that?
Committee chairman Frank Field has requested answers of Esther McVey, the Work and Pensions Secretary.
What do you think she’ll do in response?
I think she’ll put a memo around her department to make sure that, when they’re hiding information from government committees, they co-ordinate to ensure that it is hidden from everyone.
The whole department needs to be disbanded; its bosses dismissed in disgrace, never to work for public services again.
The contempt in which they hold the British people is outrageous.
Work and Pensions Committee
14 Tothill Street, London SW1H 9NB
Tel 020 7219 5831 Email
From the Chair
9 February 2018
Rt Hon Esther McVey
Secretary of State
Department for Work and Pensions
PIP appeal data
During our inquiry on PIP and ESA assessments, your Department kindly provided to us estimated unit costs of MRs and Appeals. This indicated that different costs are attached to PIP appeals depending on whether they relate to new or reassessed claims.
Seeking to understand the financial implications of appeals for the Department, Committee staff inquired on 30 January:
Of the 170,000 PIP appeals since 2013, how many were for new claims and how many were reassessments?
We were duly informed:
The information on the number of PIP appeals is from HMCTS published statistics and this information is not available from HMCTS for new claims and reassessments
We were therefore unable to estimate the full cost of appeals to your Department, although the Ministry of Justice informed us that in 2016/17 its appeals expenditure was £103 million. (Cost of Social Security and Child Support appeals, of which the majority relate to PIP/ESA.)
It was with some surprise, therefore, that we today received data released in response to an FOI request. This provided estimated costs per month spent on PIP appeals broken downnby new and reassessed claims.
You will be aware that we are shortly due to publish our report. That this data was provided in response to an FOI request, but not for our Report, is doubly regrettable since the key theme of our report is the need to introduce much greater trust and transparency into the PIP and ESA systems.
Might you please explain how this occurred?
Rt Hon Frank Field MP.
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