Debbie Abrahams, the shadow disabilities minister, has called for an independent inquiry into the deaths of claimants to be set up, following the recent publication of heavily redacted copies of peer reviews of claimant deaths.
Abrahams told the Independent:
“It’s shocking that the Tories had to be compelled in to publishing the peer reviews of social security claimants who have died and that it took so long in coming.
"Although these peer reviews are heavily redacted so that individuals can’t be identified, our initial analysis suggests that the most vulnerable claimants weren’t given appropriate care and support, reflecting an over-stretched workforce driven by a top-down culture focused on targets. The Government’s priority has been to get claimants ‘off-flow’ with too little regard of the consequences.
“It is clear why the government refused to accept the recommendations from the Select Committee report for an independent inquiry into sanctions and to establish an independent body to review the deaths of social security claimants. They were too worried about the facts it would uncover.”