The DWP is actively working to block potentially life-saving university research to discover whether there is a link between benefits sanctions, ill health and even suicide.

The research involves Glasgow University linking anonymised DWP data with NHS records to see if sanctioned individuals had, for example been prescribed antidepressants, had an existing condition get worse or even taken their own life.

The DWP claimed in 2019 that it was supporting the project, but since then has put continual barriers in its way.  The department spent years demanding ever tighter security measures for the research.  When these were all finally put in place the DWP then insisted that the university must apply for permission to do the research all over again.

According to Professor Nick Bailey, the research should have been completed in 2020, but it has yet to even start.

The chair of the Commons work and pensions committee, Stephen Timms told the Guardian “This emerging pattern of obstruction suggests that a culture of secrecy is entrenched in DWP. It must wake up to the harm that it is doing and commit to a new spirit of openness.”

Vital sanctions research

Benefits and Work believes that this vital research that could well provide rigorous academic proof  that DWP sanctions policies are leading to the loss of claimants’ lives.  So it comes as no surprise that the DWP is trying to prevent it going ahead, particularly at a time when it is dramatically increasing the number of sanctions it hands out.  As we reported last month, universal credit sanctions are now rocketing.

The only real question is why politicians of all parties, with a few honourable exceptions, are so willing to look the other way rather than raise their voices in protest when it is the lives of claimants that are at risk from an entirely avoidable harm.

You can read the full story in the Guardian.


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    tintack · 2 years ago
    Are you a sociopath? Are you worried that indulging your fantasies of picking on people who can't fight back would land you in trouble?

    Well, worry no more! Because here at the DWP we're determined to offer the sociopath community all the opportunities you deserve! We've created a truly world-beating bureaucracy whose opacity and inhumanity would leave Kafka gasping in admiration, and we're offering YOU the chance to take advantage! Sanctioning people with mental health problems into poverty? Not a problem! Taking benefits away from seriously ill people by ignoring evidence from genuine medical experts? Go right ahead!  Burying evidence that your actions are driving people into early graves? We've got it covered!

    But there must be a catch, you say - surely this is all too good to be true? Surely I'd get into serious trouble at some point for this sort of thing? Not so! Because with our time-unlimited, government-sponsored Zero Accountability Guarantee, you can rest easy in the knowledge that no matter how morally abominable or lacking in basic decency your actions may be, and no matter how horrific the results, there is NO chance WHATSOEVER that you will ever face any consequences!  Just look at these testimonies from our satisfied customers:

    "I cut benefits to poor people and said I was enhancing their life chances - and I got away with it! Say no more!" - Iain D-S.

    "I belted out "The Time of My Life" at the Tory Party Conference as I cut benefits to vulnerable people and suppressed one report after another showing the consequences of my policies - and I'm STILL in post! Thanks DWP!"  - Therese C.

    So if you've always wanted to try your hand at persecution of the poor and vulnerable, don't delay, apply today!

    The DWP - because sociopaths are people too.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Cher · 2 years ago
    I nearly died twice because their sanctions made me suicidal 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    tintack · 2 years ago
    In a civilised country, a government department faced with potential evidence of its own policies killing its citizens would be horrified and investigate as a matter of urgency. They would then change those policies if the evidence did indeed show that drastic change was required. At the DWP they keep the policies, carry on driving vulnerable people into early graves and suppress the evidence. Putin's propaganda machine would be proud of this lot.

    Just imagine working for them. It must be a real "leave your soul at the door" job.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Sonia · 2 years ago
    Is there anyway to make the DWP change their practice of sending out overpayment demands without any information on the letter about why or what it is related too? I've spoke to a few extremely distressed people that have got a letter wanting 10s of thousands back without any explanation leaving them distraught. This should not be allowed. In all the cases ot was resolved and shown to be incorrect but that doesn't negate the days of anxiety not knowing why or what was happening 
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