DWP admits abusing data protection laws to shred 50 reviews of benefit-related suicides

Not smiling: and Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey really won’t be, once it gets through to her that the public now knows her department has been taking the p*ss out of all the people it has killed.

This is typical of the DWP: in the week that the minister for disabled people promises the department is working to improve its response to benefit-related deaths, we find it has been destroying records of them.

Particularly interesting for This Writer is the fact that they were records dated before 2015 – a period that I inquired about in a Freedom of Information request that the Department refused to honour.

I had to force the government to issue what turned out to be a tragically limited response, via an order from the Information Commissioner’s Office.

All of the above suggests that Linda Cooksey, sister of DWP victim Tim Salter (who took his own life after being deprived of benefits in 2013), was right to say the Department has been trying to “cover up” the facts.

It seems the DWP has feebly tried to excuse itself with a claim that the destruction was necessary due to data protection requirements.

But the Information Commissioner’s Office (again) has made it clear that there was no need to destroy any documents by a particular date, and in any case they could have been made subjects of a “public interest” protection.

It is interesting to hear that Stephen Timms, chair of the Commons Work and Pensions Committee, said there was a “lack of seriousness” about “putting things right when they go wrong”.

Perhaps that explains why Justin Tomlinson (the afore-mentioned minister for people with disabilities) was caught smirking during a debate about the DWP’s failure to address these issues.

So we see that the DWP minister was making fun of everybody who has suffered at the department’s hands, and the Department itself is laughing at anybody who seriously expects it to change its ways.

Source: ‘Cover-up’: DWP destroyed reports into people who killed themselves after benefits were stopped | The Independent

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2 thoughts on “DWP admits abusing data protection laws to shred 50 reviews of benefit-related suicides

  1. Jeffrey Davies

    Every year we gat a sideroom attention in the house of I’ll repute yet on it goes brutal treatment of the stock who are ill disabled mentally ill. Even unemployed get it those on benefits it doesn’t matter whot one they will attack but dwp will tell all we learn hmmm like time past they following orders will the Hague bring them to account id rather doubt it has they all have get out of jail cards

  2. Helen Cronin

    This will have cost me £50K by the time I retire aged 66 in 2021. Due to the double whammy of ageism at point of job application (and harrassing older women out of their jobs within the first 2 yrs if their age is discovered), I have only been able to get a proper job for 2 years since 2008. I applied for 700 jobs in 6 months & got one response. Employers/HR work out age from things like “O levels”. Government does nothing to enforce the law on ageism, removes 50s women’s pensions with no notice & we have to use our old age savings because those prevent us from being UC claimants. Many women have committed suicide, from the stress or just not having enough savings to last another 6 years or failing to cope with the UC system. This issue of SPA is often wrongly interpreted as us being against equalisation – this is untrue, we are not. The issue has always been about NO NOTICE GIVEN. But it is a very complex issue, involving the information I just gave, but also how it affects husbands, partners – who have to continue working even if they have reached their pension age, in order to support their 50s born women. The high street suffers too, these women have nothing to spend. Volunteering is affected if these women do manage to get or keep a job – likewise with family care, where these older women would have been available as carers, now have to try to work. And the physical effects on women, many of whom had hard physical jobs & gave birth – many are very unwell and that is why 60 was set as the requisite age for women to retire. This is a wholly misogynistic action taken against older women by (unbelievably) the UK government. Against its own people, its own women. And the very sinister imposed media black out which has existed for 5+ years smacks of
    behaviour.

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