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Case Of David Clapson Sparks Calls For National Inquiry

July 29, 2014

Some have asked if this would have happened if David Clapson had not been a former soldier.

I, however, see this as a very small piece of progress. I’m always grateful for progress, whatever the reasons for it.

The case of a diabetic former soldier from Stevenage, who died after his benefits were sanctioned, has led to calls for a national review.

Last week, the Advertiser told the story of David Clapson, who could not afford electricity to keep his insulin cool after his jobseeker’s allowance of approximately £70 a week was suspended on June 28 last year.

Just three weeks later – on July 20 – he died aged 59 at his home in Hillside from fatal diabetic keto-acidosis, which the NHS calls “a dangerous complication of diabetes caused by a lack of insulin.”

Talking to the Advertiser, leader of Stevenage Council Cllr Sharon Taylor said the case was “the most tragic story I have heard in 18 years of being a councillor.”

She also revealed that she had forwarded letters about the case, sent between David’s sister Gill and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), to Dame Anne Begg.

In one letter, the DWP – which administers jobseeker’s allowance – said it was “confident that the correct procedures were followed for the administration of benefit.”

Dame Begg is the chair of the work and pensions select committee, which examines DWP expenditure, administration and policy.

Following our exclusive coverage of the story last week, The Mirror carried the case on its front page on Monday.

Talking to the Mirror, MP Debbie Abrahams – a member of the work and pensions select committee – said “For this poor man to die in such a disgraceful way is a scandal.

“But it is sadly not a surprise to hear that the sanctions regime has cost another life.”

She also said that she had pushed for an independent inquiry into sanctions, but the government had published only a limited inquiry on the last day before its summer recess, preventing discussion.

“If Iain Duncan Smith and Esther McVey have nothing to hide, they should not fear a focused, independent inquiry,” she added.

Cllr Taylor said: “I want the DWP to carry out an inquiry into how they get vulnerable people in touch with local organisations that can help them. We need a review of that at the national level.”

David’s sister, Gill, told the Advertiser: “You have made a huge difference. You helped me get there because your story started it when it was shared by Sharon Taylor.

“I just want them to have a look at their procedures.”

14 Comments leave one →
  1. July 29, 2014 4:13 pm

    The DWP procedures are a style of Russian roulette and that has always been my findings of them the past 35 years

    many times over that period they have left me for dead but thanks to the wonderful police and ambulance staff i have managed to survive and get my small amount of benefits restored

    The DWP have always made errors however and my only conclusion here must be a complete lack of skills on their part as when speaking with them that’s how they sound very ice cold with no heart’ dead would be a much better term to describe them

    i guess as they deal with death on a daily basis they get immune of the suffering they inflict on others

    who the hell at the end of the day would chose to work for the DWP ? ONLY THOSE VERY DESPERATE . No graduate of any repute would touch them with a barge pole even my daughter said they were the worse of the worse to work for and agrees with me only those very desperate the same goes for ATOS and all of the other man power companies

  2. Florence permalink
    July 29, 2014 4:31 pm

    It wasn’t just lack of insulin – his stomach was empty, showing no sign of eating in the previous 24 hours. He was obviously saving the half tin of sardines and a few scraps of food left in his flat.

    This is the reality for people with conditions that require stable, good quality and regular meals. This is the reality of the Working Class in 1844 – sorry 2014 – poor, punished and pushed to death by the state.

    I hope his story- irrespective of his prior service status – has the power to take these issues out into the light. Hopefully the UN will step in? The death of anyone in these circumstances is piteous, and he will not be forgotten.

  3. che permalink
    July 29, 2014 4:49 pm

    The DWP want to kill off anyone on benefits so they dont have to pay a thing. Anyone working for the DWP would be best suited to working for the SS in past life

  4. Mr.Angry permalink
    July 29, 2014 5:03 pm

    This has to go out in every national newspaper, reading this made me feel physically ill, what kind of a nation have we become to allow this to happen and has on numerous occasions since this un-elected shower stole office.

  5. July 29, 2014 5:11 pm

    Reblogged this on sdbast.

  6. July 29, 2014 5:18 pm

    Reblogged this on SMILING CARCASS'S TWO-PENNETH and commented:
    My God, this bloke just wanted some help while he looked for work and Duncan Smith’s cruel sanctions killed him- there is no other way to say it.

    Sanctions for missing one appointment are well out of order and anybody should be given a chance to explain why they missed their appointment, not just sanctioned.

    “there’s another one towards this month’s bonus” (An Interview With @JobCentreMole About DWP Corruption)

  7. July 29, 2014 5:49 pm

    The Work & Pensions Committee has called for an independent inquiry on benefit sanctions, which has, to date, been ignored by the government. There is also an urgent need for a moratorium on benefit sanctions as a result of the tragic death of David Clapson, 59.

    Not only are Jobcentre staff and DWP decision makers incompetent and medically unqualified, they are under severe pressure to strip claimants of their benefits.

    Matthew Oakley’s independent review of JSA sanctions was limited in its remit to improving the way sanctions were communicated to claimants. His recommendations are relatively cosmetic and minor; that’s why the DWP has agreed to implement them. On the whole, I’ve labelled his review a ‘whitewash’, for it ignores inappropriate sanctions, Jobcentre targets to take away benefits, and serious accusations by a whistle-blower of benefit claimant stitching-up.

    In my opinion, Jobcentre staff are knowingly engaging in conduct that involves dishonesty, fraud, deceit, and misrepresentation. The government’s refusal to agree to an independent inquiry strongly suggests that the DWP is involved in a cover-up of egregious or inappropriate benefit sanctions.

    Full disclosure: Since January 2012, I have been reporting voluntarily to the UN’s human rights office, in Geneva, on the welfare crisis for Britain’s sick and disabled.

    (Montreal, Canada)

    • Nick permalink
      July 29, 2014 10:30 pm

      hopefully in time everyone will look at this video and learn something from it as up to now the same people like IDS are still around 70 plus years on

      A Message To Humanity!

  8. jaypot2012 permalink
    July 29, 2014 7:29 pm

    Why are people dying of starvation in one of the richest countries on earth? Because that is what the rich want – it’s because we haven’t stopped them and because they can just get away with it.
    Well individuals like IDS and Co. will find that having so much power over people’s lives will lead to their downfall – the UN are investigating and other countries are shocked and disgusted in our so called government.
    I hope I get to live long enough to see the downfall of this sick, perverse and evil government – just give me that pleasure.

  9. jaypot2012 permalink
    July 29, 2014 7:30 pm

    Reblogged this on Jay's Journal and commented:
    How can we keep letting this happen? We need to do something to stop this now. I think that any letters should now be sent to the UN and the EU as what has happened here, and will happen again and again, is a crime against humanity!

  10. Another Fine Mess permalink
    July 29, 2014 8:45 pm

    Also reported this week a 23 year old.

    Although it says he was having “job” interviews, it also says:

    “and was attending interviews every fortnight.”

    “He was under tremendous pressure based on those interviews and the requirement for his attendance,”

    Remind you of anything.

  11. Denise Adams permalink
    July 29, 2014 11:28 pm

    I have always been proud to be British, but lately I recognise the country I was born in less and less.

  12. john permalink
    July 30, 2014 10:00 am

    them so called union members that work at the dwp have allways been nasty cun.ts . all my life they have enjoyed giveing misery to vunrable clamements. but with ian -rt unit-smith hes given them the power of god–they can and will and have do anything they want .they enjoy it and this awfull tory party are telling them to do anything .union members -they aint union members -… found out something intresting yesterday ….this info is for any one on pip and awaiting a so called medical…–i was sent a form 14 weeks back telling me that i will—will- be haveing an a apointment so i rung up has its getting close and was told this—–i am now goining have to wait 26 weeks longer …. i went mad and stated – i have a letter that says i will be seen in 3 weeks time and now u tell me its goining to be at least another 26 weeks… the atos so called suppport manger replied – yes -. i said u cant do that i have a letter that states i will be seen in 16 weeks and its only 3 weeks away .


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