Skip to content

IDS Says #fakedwpstories Officials Could Face Disciplinary Action

August 24, 2015

Iain Duncan Smith has said his officials who used fictional claimants to show the impact of benefit sanctions could face disciplinary action.

The work and pensions secretary said the made-up stories on the DWP website were meant to help people understand the system and were based on “real life cases”.

But Mr Duncan Smith stressed that he had not seen them before publication.

And he told BBC News that the officials “should never have done that”.

The DWP faced widespread criticism last week when it emerged that two sickness benefit claimants, supposedly called Zac and Sarah and who featured on the department’s website, were not real people.

‘Binary system’

Stephen Timms, Labour’s acting shadow work and pensions secretary, said: “You couldn’t make it up – but it seems Iain Duncan Smith can. The only way he can find backers for his sanctions regime is by inventing them.”

In one case study, a welfare claimant, “Sarah”, said she was “really pleased” a cut to her benefits had encouraged her to improve her CV.

In the other, “Zac” said he let his work coach know when he was going to miss a meeting and because he did so, “my benefit payment hasn’t changed”.

The apparent deception was uncovered by a Freedom of Information request by website Welfare Weekly.

Mr Duncan Smith said “someone in the operations department” had posted the stories, which were “drawn as a summary from real life cases but it wasn’t a real life case”.

He added: “It was quite wrong, those individuals [responsible] ultimately will face some form of disciplinary procedure.”

He told BBC News that “thousands of these things go out, week in week out, to help advise claimants and advisers, on how best to make the system work and how it can work for them”.

And the erroneous case studies had now been taken down from the department’s website, he added.

Mr Duncan Smith’s response came as he announced a planned shake-up of the rules on sickness benefit to encourage more people into work.

In a speech in London, he said the current system was too “binary” – with claimants deemed either fit or unfit for work.

Instead, claimants should be made to take up any work they could, even if it was just for a few hours, he added.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 24, 2015 4:40 pm

    The only way George Iain Duncan Smith will take action against those who made up the fake story’s is to give them a large bonus. They have done his bidding and done it well, if one story is made up then it can reasonably be assumed that all previous and future story’s by the DWP are total BULLSHIT

  2. nick permalink
    August 24, 2015 7:40 pm

    IDS is a very dangerous person and for anyone getting sucked in to even just looking at him on TV could result in their death

    All long term sick and disabled should stick to their care plans especially those with mental health and to avoid any watching of news that IDS is centered around

    All carers need to be on their guard and that those they care for do not watch or listen to anything with IDS be it on the tv or radio as getting sucked in will result in the further decline of ones health leading to the deaths of those that succumb

    My wife cares for many in a long term nursing home and makes sure that anything to do with IDS or the DWP is dealt with by senior management the patients are blissfully unaware how lucky they are and not have to deal themselves with the likes of the DWP

What are you thinking?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: