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Information Commissioner orders publication of ESA death statistics

With polling day almost upon us, the DWP have been ordered by the Information Commissioner to publish highly controversial claimant death statistics – but not until well after the election is over.

ESA ‘death statistics’ cover the number of ESA claimants who have died soon after being found fit for work, as well as those who died after being placed in the work-related activity group.

The decision by the Information Commissioner to order publication was made in February of this year. But it was withheld for months , before finally being sent last week to the DWP and to Mike Sivier, the campaigning blogger who has been pursuing the figures for years.

The time limit of 35 days to publish now runs from 30 April, meaning the Coalition will not have to answer to the public for any rise in claimant death numbers until after the election is over.

The unpublished statistics join a long list of suppressed and delayed reports, as well as refusals to hold enquiries, that would have revealed just how painful life for many sick and disabled claimants has become.

For example, the Coalition have refused to hold an inquiry into the reasons for the rise in food bank use, refused to hold an enquiry into the use of sanctions, refused to carry out a cumulative impact assessment examining how the combined effect of all the ‘welfare reforms’ have affected claimants and have refused to publish details of 49 reviews into benefits related deaths.

Along with IDS fleeing from the sister of a dead claimant, the catalogue of refusals suggests some very guilty minds at the heart of the DWP.

You can read more about the ESA death statistics on Mike Sivier’s Vox Political website.


+3 #4 angela 2015-05-06 15:02
When the torys get back in power and they will they it will give them the green light to do anything they want and no one to stop them god help us then
+3 #3 Bill 2015-05-06 07:26
And we talk about other Governments around the world as being ''corrupt''.


+3 #2 carruthers 2015-05-06 01:56
the catalogue of refusals suggests some very guilty minds at the heart of the DWP.
No, it does not - at least not at the policy-making level. What senior DWP people (civil servants, ministers and the inevitable spads) have is a sense of what may be politically embarrassing.

They don't care about deaths - I suspect that one or two of them really do support the motto, "Let them die and reduce the surplus population." They just don't want themselves or the ministers to be seen either as killers or people who don't give a whether the poor, the mentally ill or the vulnerable die or not.

IDS still likes to present himself as a saviour.

Not that facts have ever bothered him in the past.
+5 #1 tintack 2015-05-06 00:53
While it would have been much better if the figures had been published before the election, it does at least mean that if another Tory-led government tried to make the system even harsher (as the Guardian is reporting they might), it would be a great deal harder for them to do so if the figures have been published by then and are anything like as bad as we suspect they are.

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