Internal reviews into the deaths of Universal Credit claimants by the Department for Work and Pensions have concluded that the threatening nature of the “claimant commitment”, demanded of all those receiving the benefit, could have affected their health.
So obviously the next thing the Conservative government, represented by Ms McVey, wants to do is extend those threats to the largest number of vulnerable people possible.
What are we to conclude from this, if not that Ms McVey is intentionally endangering the maximum number of benefit claimants – possibly in the hope that they will die off and she will be able to close their claims?
We already know that the DWP operates a “chequebook euthanasia” policy that sees people with disabilities who cannot work for a living as “useless eaters”, as in Nazi Germany, and engineers their circumstances so that either their physical or mental health worsens, making death more likely.
And we know the DWP then shamefully attempts to cover up the realities of self-inflicted deaths by suggesting that there may be many reasons for suicide – besides the very obvious one that the government took all their money away and forced them to starve.
Disability News Service has reported the conclusions of one IPR (Internal Process Review) into the case of a Universal Credit claimant who died between 2016 and 2018 – that
it seemed “excessive” for DWP to include eight references to sanctions and how much money a claimant would lose if they breached their “claimant commitment”.
The panel added: “…a better balance could be struck in reminding a client of the consequences of not meeting their obligations and not appearing to be overtly threatening, especially to individuals who are vulnerable.”
The DWP has refused to say whether it has altered the wording of the “claimant commitment” as a result of this criticism, meaning we may safely decide that it has not.
DNS has also reported that the DWP carried out a further 49 IPRs between April 2016 and June 2018, of which 32 were also into the deaths of claimants, including those on Universal Credit in three cases.
Between October 2014 and January 2016, only nine IPRs took place into the deaths of claimants. DNS suggests that this shows a doubling of such deaths over this period.
I wonder if it just means that the DWP has had to conduct more reviews after the public started demanding more answers.
The DWP itself, of course, has said no blame should be apportioned as a result of the reviews’ findings, as they are merely a “performance improvement tool”.
The trouble with that is, performance has not improved. In fact, it appears to have worsened.
But the DWP is determined to expand this worsening performance to as many claimants as possible.
The only rational conclusion is that the intentions behind this move are homicidal.
And let us not forget that the DWP does its level best to prevent these facts from coming to public attention. The figures reported by DNS only came out after the Information Commissioner forced the department to honour its obligation to the law.
They were provided in response to a Freedom of Information request sent by DNS in June. Legally, the department had 20 working days in which to respond – and did not.
I tend to agree with the analysis of the situation published by The Canary:
One claimant’s death should, by anyone’s standards, be of concern. But when hundreds of people are dying on the DWP’s watch yet it still tries to keep this fact a secret – it’s a national scandal.
But then I would – This Site has been saying the same for years.
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