Yes, Iain Duncan Smith – Vox Political HAS accused you of ‘outrageous action’. PROVE US WRONG

Iain Duncan Smith can’t prove us wrong. He deliberately refuses to collect the statistics that would confirm his claims – or ours. Instead, he has claimed that This Blog (and presumably others) has accused him of “outrageous action”, without providing a scrap of evidence against the allegation. This Writer is delighted that the Gentleman Ranker has tried to defend himself. I am currently working on a book covering this subject and his words may provide an excellent introduction. The man we like to call RTU (Return To Unit – a…

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DWP blamed by second coroner for incapacity benefit claimant suicide

So you thought Mary Hassall was the only British coroner to have blamed a benefit claimant’s death on the DWP? Think again. To This Writer’s shame, the case of Julia Kelly was reported in This Blog, earlier this year – but I did not recall that Northamptonshire County Coroner Anne Pember’s report had conferred responsibility for her death on the Department for Work and Pensions after the case of Michael O’Sullivan was reported last month. Mr O’Sullivan committed suicide in late 2013. North London coroner Mary Hassall, at his inquest…

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DWP confusion: Saying claimants can die twice – and denying it – at the same time

The Department for Work and Pensions has tried to provide reassurance over the accuracy of its claimant death statistics – but has succeeded only in confirming that it has muddled the figures. Responding to the Department’s statistical releases of August 27, I told the Information Commissioner’s lawyers: “Reference to the DWP’s other statistical release of August 27 casts doubt on the veracity of the information in table 2.1 [of the response to my own Freedom of Information request], which claims to provide the total number of individuals who died while claiming…

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This is how the DWP denies responsibility for claimant deaths

The Department for Work and Pensions has made a desperate attempt to deny responsibility for causing the deaths of an unknown number of former incapacity benefits claimants, in a recent email to This Writer. The DWP has written to me in a new attempt to wriggle out of providing a full response to my Freedom of Information request about the deaths of claimants. I have already discussed one aspect of this letter in a previous article. A representative of the Department (who goes unnamed in the letter – it seems…

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Has the DWP made a fatal error over the claimant deaths FoI request?

To cut a long story short: It looks as though the DWP has blown it, big-time. Dedicated VP readers who read the article earlier this week will know that the Department for Work and Pensions had until yesterday (October 16) to provide a full response to my Freedom of Information request on the deaths of incapacity benefits claimants. I received a response by email at around 7.15pm on Thursday – and it’s another attempt at evasion… … a very poor attempt. Let’s remind ourselves of the request. On May 28, 2014,…

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DWP has delayed long enough. WHERE IS MY INFORMATION?

When the government wants information from a citizen, you have to provide it within a certain time limit under threat of sanction. Why is it, then, that the government is allowed all the time in the world when the roles are reversed? The story so far: A long time ago (May 28, 2014, in fact), This Writer submitted a Freedom of Information request, asking for the the number of incapacity benefits claimants who had died between the end of November 2011 and May 28, 2014. The DWP claimed to have…

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Why is the DWP pleading for more time to answer a simple FoI request?

Remember the Vox Political Freedom of Information request? The one asking for the number of incapacity benefits claimants who had died between the end of November 2011 and May 28, 2014? The one the DWP claimed to have answered with a ‘statistical release’ on August 27? The one This Writer proved had answered only those parts of my request that suited the DWP’s own purposes? Today, I received an email from the Information Commissioner’s solicitor, saying that the Department for Work and Pensions may be able to provide a “substantive”…

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Vox Political on LBC radio to discuss DWP lies

Vox Political’s Mike Sivier (that’s me) will be appearing on LBC radio at around 1pm to talk about the revelation that a coroner ruled that a man died as a direct result of being involved in a work capability assessment organised by the Department for Work and Pensions. Thanks to the Daily Mail, we now know that the deceased was 60-year-old Michael O’Sullivan, of Highgate, north London, who took his own life six months after being found fit for work. The Atos assessor never asked him about suicidal thoughts and…

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The DWP has lied; ministers know ‘fit for work’ decisions lead to death

Let’s get this straight: In an inquest into the death of a disabled man, a coroner ruled in early 2014 that his suicide was a direct result of being declared ‘fit for work’ in a work capability assessment. Bearing this in mind… What has the DWP been saying about there being “no causal link” between its administration of the benefit system and the deaths of claimants, again? Time and time again, we have been told that there is no link between the deaths of any benefit claimants and their treatment…

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Why the delay, DWP? The ONS has templates on calculating death rates

Did you know that the Department for Work and Pensions spent two years delaying the publication of death figures for incapacity benefit claimants when they could have been completed in a week? The Office for National Statistics provides information on how to calculate Age-Standardised Mortality Rates, including information on the size of the general population and the death rates for particular age ranges within it. You can download the templates yourself from this site. This means that the Department for Work and Pensions could have used its own figures to…

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