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Cameron’s promise to release ESA death statistics is a life-threatening con trick

David Cameron told MPs yesterday that the notorious employment and support allowance (ESA) death statistics “are being prepared for publication as we speak”. However, campaigner Mike Sivier warns that the statistics the DWP are planning to release are, in fact, a deliberate con designed to cover-up the number of people who have died under the ESA regime. By keeping the truth hidden, more lives are being put at risk.

Cameron’s claim that figures are to be published came yesterday at prime minister’s questions, when Labour MP Marie Rimmer asked:

“The Prime Minister has repeatedly been reported as saying that he wants to create “a new era of transparency in government.” Given that desire, why is the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions refusing to release the statistics relating to the deaths of people who have been declared fit for work, which he has been instructed to do by the Information Commissioner? Will the Prime Minister intervene and get the Secretary of State to comply with the spirit of his desire and the instruction of the Information Commissioner?”

Cameron replied:

“First, let me reassure the hon. Lady that the data will be published; they are being prepared for publication as we speak. I think that it is important that we publish data, and this Government have published more data about public spending than any previous Government.”

Cameron’s announcement comes just days after Iain Duncan Smith told Labour MPs that asking him to publish the statistics was ‘absurd’, ‘disgraceful’ and ‘unbelievable’. IDS even went on to claim, bizarrely, that the statistics did not exist.

Table showing ESA deathsHowever, Vox Political blogger Mike Sivier is warning that the DWP plan to publish figures that will hide, not reveal, the number of claimants who died within six weeks of being found fit for work.

Sivier bases his claim on a submission made by the DWP to the Information Commissioner during his battle to have the figures released.

The DWP argued that the ESA death statistics:

“ . . . were likely to be misinterpreted. Specifically, incorrect conclusions were likely to be drawn as to causal links between assessment outcomes and mortality. Such misinterpretations would be contrary to the public interest, particularly given the emotive and sensitive context of mortality statistics”

Instead, the DWP argued, people should wait for a separate set of Age Standardised Mortality Rate (ASMR) figures that the department has been preparing.

ASMR figures are adjusted to take account of the fact that there are more older people in some areas of the country than in others. It allows researchers to try examine whether there are higher mortality rates in one place due to, say, people being poorer or whether it’s simply because more retired people live there.

ASMR figures will not, therefore, tell you how many people died within six weeks of being placed in the work-related activity group, for example. Instead, they are likely to be expressed in rates per 100,000 with an upper and lower limit.

In addition, it appears that the DWP are planning to release figures that go back 10 years, before ESA was even introduced and may not even break figures down into specific benefits, let alone specific components of that benefit.

The original figures showed that between January and November 2011, 1,300 claimants died within six weeks of being placed in the work-related activity group.

What campaigners want is to see the actual numbers of deaths that occurred November 2011 and May 2014, so that a comparison can be made.

The DWP it would seem, will go to any lengths to prevent that comparison.

The Conservatives hope that by releasing these statistics they will be able to con people into thinking they are being open whilst, in reality, engaging in a cover-up that could well be costing the lives of thousands of claimants.

Whether they succeed will depend on how many people fall for their con trick.

Comments  

#11 Paul Richards 2015-07-06 20:45
Hi all,
Here is a relevant reference - (I really would not like to be in his shoes!)

www.electoralcommission.org.uk/_data/assets/pdf_file/0009/175365/Part-A-Returning-Officer-role-and responsibilitie s.pdf
#10 JayC 2015-07-06 19:40
Electoral fraud is the wrong argument for this Comedy of Errors and spun deceit by the Gov't.

The best phrase I've seen for a Public body being evasive of the truth is a historic comment by the Information Commissioners themselves as follows :
"The Information Commissioner also reminds Public Authorities, that
deleting or concealing information with the intention of preventing
its disclosure following receipt of a request is a criminal offence
under section 77 of the Act."


And my other favourite is malfeasance in Public Office
+1 #9 Paul Richards 2015-07-06 17:16
Hi Eli48,
That is very interesting.
Surely, if this is the case, then someone must be able to investigate it (as far as I am aware, if so this is possibly a criminal offence under Electoral Law)
And if this is the case, then why is it not being investigated for a possible breach of the law.Where are the 'Electoral Officers' in all of this, because (as far as I am aware), it it they who ultimately have overall control and responsibility for the security of it all.
#8 Eli48 2015-07-05 21:50
Sorry curruthers, not sure what you are whittering on about, , but many other people are saying the same thing, that voting boxes went missing, votes not counted....... on the change.org petition. It is not just me. In Hastings, 200,000 votes went mysteriously missing. It was rigged. Several people have come out publically.
#7 Paul Richards 2015-07-02 20:38
ALPHA - With all due respect to you, although this site was probably not intended to be used as a 'chat forum' as such or 'to talk politics', this situation has for the most part been forced onto people on here because of what has been unfairly(very unfairly in many cases) done to them, by not only this present Government, but also by previous ones. As a direct consequence of this it has become very and increasingly necessary for people to air their thoughts.
After all, it is no good for them to talk to their neighbours - they will, most likely be called 'scroungers' who are 'not ill' or be told (if unemployed) that they are not looking for work when (most of them) they actually are.
It is no good for them to complain to their MP - especially if it is a Tory - they would be told 'get a job' or the Tories 'Long Term Plan' is still working and the economy is booming at present (!!??)
No good to go to most of the 'National' newspapers - most are right wing and fully support the Governments policies.
No good to go to Sky or the BBC for much the same reasons.
Who else can they talk to or get 'true' answers and 'help' from?
Your last comment though is a good one - in that it is people supporting each other (in the reasons that you give) and helping each other out through increasingly tough times in G.B.
#6 ALPHA 2015-07-01 19:00
I have been told that this site is not chat forum and certainly not for talking about politics and the voting system which I have to say is the best because it creates political stability. I think we should inform each on how we can improve our financial and health situation
+1 #5 carruthers 2015-06-29 15:42
Quoting Eli48:
They did not have a majority and only won by cheating. Voting slips went missing, as did voting boxes full of votes, people could only use pencil, which can be rubbed out. UKIP got the most votes, yet, did not get in. Even the house of lords said they should now be in power and that they were cheated.

Sorry, but this really is a very long way from the truth.

No one seriously believes that there was massive electoral fraud. That some errors crept in is highly likely; that many voting papers were altered and significant numbers of ballot boxes went missing is not credible.

The general estimate is that the Conservatives got about 11.3 million votes whilst UKIP got 3.8 million votes. You really can't lose enough ballot boxes, or rub out enough crosses to account for that sort of difference - seven and a half MILLION votes - in a modern democracy with so much being filmed. Even if you think our election officials are that corrupt.

What is true is that our voting system means that all those 3.8 million votes resulted in only 1 UKIP MP. That's not "cheating" - it what happens with our First Past the Post system. For example (and I'm making up these figures) if in 3 different constituencies the Tory got 20,000 votes and the UKIP candidate got 19,500 votes, you end up with 3 Tory MPs and no UKIP ones - even though there were 58,500 UKIP voters.

The Lib Dems have been saying for years that this system is not fair - now apparently even the Telegraph agrees with them.

IF we had used the most favourable of the many PR systems on offer, then UKIP would probably have had enough votes to give them enough leverage in the Commons so that Nigel Farage might have been a "kingmaker".

But we haven't and they didn't and Nigel Farage isn't even an MP.

If you want that to change, campaign for a better voting system.
-2 #4 Eli48 2015-06-28 19:50
[quote name="Paul Richards"]These so called 'politicians' are supposed to be 'our' own public servants - voted into 'Power' by us - the electorate!
But, due to the terribly flawed 'electoral' system in this country - there is seemingly no democracy as such now.
With just 24% of the 'electorate' voting 'Conservative' - THEY have got in and are able (through their 'majority') able to 'LORD' it over all of us and everyone. What a shambles - we might as well as be in some tinpot African dictatorship. Cameron thinks that HE is LORD over everyone - even Angela Merkel! Somehow though - I do not think that he will eventually win out as far as she is concerned! "


They did not have a majority and only won by cheating. Voting slips went missing, as did voting boxes full of votes, people could only use pencil, which can be rubbed out. UKIP got the most votes, yet, did not get in. Even the house of lords said they should now be in power and that they were cheated.
+1 #3 Paul Richards 2015-06-25 22:29
These so called 'politicians' are supposed to be 'our' own public servants - voted into 'Power' by us - the electorate!
But, due to the terribly flawed 'electoral' system in this country - there is seemingly no democracy as such now.
With just 24% of the 'electorate' voting 'Conservative' - THEY have got in and are able (through their 'majority') able to 'LORD' it over all of us and everyone. What a shambles - we might as well as be in some tinpot African dictatorship. Cameron thinks that HE is LORD over everyone - even Angela Merkel! Somehow though - I do not think that he will eventually win out as far as she is concerned!
He could come back to Britain hopefully with his miserable tail between his legs.
+2 #2 survival71 2015-06-25 20:47
As the last published figures were from the period before sanctions started to take off... it would be logical that the subsequent figures would be exponentially rising.. lets hope one of the sympathetic newspapers fights through the courts and overturns any government veto to publish them in full
+5 #1 Matata2011 2015-06-25 10:10
Sadly most of the electorate are gullible along with the tabloids for various personal self interests & history tells me all the lies con tric& massaged statistics will be believed by many,maybe the now threatened Working Tax Credits abolition rem it's the working poor on low pay topped up by Tax Credits are waking up to reality that it can happen to you not just the disabled also paid taxes too by the way but have suffered constant relentless abuse & some died in the process.Welcome to Tory land indeed.Sad outlook indeed.

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