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IDS Should Resign Over Disability Benefit Death Stats, Says Jeremy Corbyn

August 27, 2015

Iain Duncan Smith should resign after the release of statistics showing thousands of people died soon after being found fit to work in disability benefit tests, the frontrunner for the Labour leadership has said.

Jeremy Corbyn called for the Work and Pensions Secretary to step down, and said the Work Capability Assessments had left some disabled people in “despair”.

“He should never have been appointed. Yes, he should resign because these figures are so frightening and so disgusting,” he told a hustings event hosted by the Daily Mirror newspaper.

“I’ve had people with mental health difficulties as well as physical difficulties who are absolutely in despair because they’ve been declared fit for work and are absolutely not.”

The Department for Work and Pensions battled for months not to release the numbers, with Mr Duncan Smith at one point telling Parliament they did not exist.

But the statistics, released on the order of the Government’s transparency watchdog, show that between December 2011 and February 2014, 2,380 people died after their Work Capability Assessment told them they should start looking for work.

The figures related to claims for the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) benefit as well as IB/SDA.

The DWP’s mortality report says that a causal effect cannot be assumed from the new numbers.

  Jeremy Corbyn said the DWP secretary had to step down “These isolated figures provide limited scope for analysis and nothing can be gained from this publication that would allow the reader to form any judgement as to the effects or impacts of the Work Capability Assessment,” it says.

When asked about the stats in Parliament during the fight to get them released, Mr Duncan Smith told Labour MP Debbie Abrahams:

“She knows very well that the department does not collate numbers on people in that circumstance.”

In 2012 a government advisor appointed to review the Government’s Work Capability Assessment said the tests were causing suffering by sending sick people back to work inappropriately.

“There are certainly areas where it’s still not working and I am sorry there are people going through a system which I think still needs improvement,” Professor Malcolm Harrington concluded.

The tests are said to have improved since then, but as recently as this summer they are still coming in for criticism. 

In June the British Psychological Society said there was “now significant body of evidence that the WCA is failing to assess people’s fitness for work accurately and appropriately”. It called for a full overhaul of the way the tests are carried out.

The WCA appeals system has also been fraught with controversy with a very high rate of overturns and delays lasting months and blamed for hardship

Some payments for the ESA benefit were cut in the Chancellor’s recent budget, with Mr Duncan Smith arguing that the previous cash level created a “perverse incentive”.

Homelessness charity Crisis last year warned that an increase in sanctions for the ESA benefit was in danger of contributing to a rise in homelessness for disabled people.

A DWP spokesman said: “The mortality rate for people who have died while claiming an out-of-work benefit has fallen over a 10-year period. This is in line with the mortality rate for the general working-age population.

“The Government continues to support millions of people on benefits with an £80 billion working-age welfare safety net in place.”

16 Comments leave one →
  1. August 27, 2015 6:49 pm

    IDS wont stop i feel till all sick and disabled have been persecuted to their deaths that’s my main worry and that worry is shared by many people

  2. Bookworm permalink
    August 27, 2015 7:48 pm

    He won’t resign because he’s doing exactly what Cameron and Osborne want him to do. That’s why he’s still in his job. He’s decimating the welfare state but that is what they want AND he even takes the flak for doing it. IDS is just a paid thug acting for the govt. The really diabolical one is Cameron who had a severely disabled son and who still has no conscience regarding what’s being done to disabled people in his name.

    • Tickety permalink
      August 30, 2015 6:38 pm

      Something should be done, asap, because they are trying to normalise, that this is acceptable procedure, for anyone in receipt of benefits. Though, I think this is happening now, with people that are much more fortunate (wealthy), living in better circumstances, are turning a blind eye, including the Govt. controlled News/Media.

  3. August 27, 2015 7:49 pm

    this man is beyond belief. how can he say that people on benefits get too much money when i for one (and i know i am not alone) find time n again i have to help my grown up kids to get by in the 2nd week of their 2 weekly pay.this leaving me shorter and shorter as food and bills rise higher n higher yet benefits are frozen.how can any parent let their kids go hungry or lose their home no matter how old they may be.this man truly needs taking to Nuremberg or similar and tried as if he was a war criminal for crimes against humanity and his fellow man(sorry i forgot hes not a man is he? hes a monster)

    • August 28, 2015 1:23 am

      Because now after those death figures have now been revealed its safe to say that IDS is in need of some mental treatment himself? Jeremy Corbyn is right IDS is not fit for purpose and needs to Resign before he causes any more harm!!..

    • August 28, 2015 10:15 am

      Prices rise, utilities, food and other essentials, but benefits frozen for 5 years as people cannot expect a rise until 2021 at the earliest. This means that people who receive what the government claim is now the minimum they need to live on are sinking below that minimum line, by 2021 they will be well below that line as utility bills rise while the money they receive decreases year on year. In effect Osborne, Smith & Cameron have decided that the only way is to slowly starve people on benefits into submission or death, the new NAZI party is in full swing.

    • August 28, 2015 4:35 pm

      The top benefit rates are pip maximum around £400 per month and £400 per month ESA support group per person

      plus housing benefit and council tax if they have no more then £6000 in the bank plus no other income

      If my figures are wrong then please do say so however i am only giving my own rough guide to the nearest pound

      • August 28, 2015 10:46 pm

        why are you quoting the top benefit rates? not that many get PIP compared to how many got DLA (plus DLA is still going you know for pensioners who were getting it before they reached age 60).. i’m talking about ppl who are on ESA WRAG they dont get the same as those in support group. they get less(and from sounds of things may get 30%% less before too much longer and i know 1 who will go under if that happens.cos i cant help him make that amount up no way. another only gets income support plus carers (saying that carers is means tested so she only gets about 35 quid income support plus the 60 carers n out of that has household bills to pay. food for herself etc plus has to use a bus now to go care for her mother at almost 2quid a journey.because the house she rented was sold from under her so had to move to other end of village adding a further amount onto cost of getting to n from her mothers.those who get PIP or DLA arent badly off at all unless like me they are subsidising their grown up kids so they dont lose their homes.

      • August 28, 2015 10:59 pm

        As i said my friend i can only quote on my own personal findings with my own research

        I do take your point however and would love to be able to be more accurate across the board but there are thousands of pages to the DWP handbook and despite promising myself to read through them to a masters degree level i had to quit as it was dawning on me that the DWPs book was never meant to be understood in the first place

        The guides can be found here in your in to heavy reading
        https://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en-GB&biw=&bih=&q=DWP+HANDBOOK&gbv=2&sa=X&as_q=&spell=1&ved=0CBEQBSgAahUKEwi12uTE4szHAhVGyRQKHZD3DQY

      • August 29, 2015 12:33 am

        Nick ,as i worked for an unemployed workers centre a number of years ago,giving benefits advice to the unemployed, ill and disabled as well as debt advice etc. i do actually know how much is in those guides.or rather how much was in them back then. none of the advisers expected to know or memorise any of it because of daily changes.one of my jobs was to file the white papers of government changes on a daily basis. and believe me, by the time you have read one of those guides the whole thing is likely to have changed gradually over the time it took you. it is, i realise, far worse now than it was then, i am sure.and you are right. the DWP handbook WAS never meant to be understood in its entirety. you could only learn the bits you needed for each individual client to help his/her particular case.as and when needed.
        i was not aware there was such a thing as a masters degree level in that subject,you learn something new every day.. i would have thought that as the legislation changes almost minute by minute, whatever is learned at whatever level, is quickly overturned by more up to date laws/regs etc. this is a big reason why the burnout stats for people doing these kinds of jobs is very very high.
        having said all that, i merely wanted to point out that its not those getting the higher amounts who are on the breadline (or shouldn’t be if they cut their coat according to the cloth they’ve got ( meaning no debts over n above the usual gas/electric/water rates/council tax/bedroom tax if they have that and food.etc). those however on the lower benefit income scale DO have problems keeping body n soul together, and not everyone has a family member willing or able to help them.they are the ones more likely to get into more debt so they can pay their bills,& feed their kids n themselves (though food banks help there… no i don’t think they should have to go that low but times are such some have no choice.)

      • August 29, 2015 12:56 am

        Yes, my friend I do understand and I too many years ago gave such advice while working for free in our local CAB office

        As I have said the DWP handbook and all of it’s words are all out to undermined the person who has to fill in the forms whoever they are as invariably the forms are seldom sent back with the correct technical description (doctors jargon) hence the constant need for the DWP to clarify points of concern

        Of course everyones benefit is slightly different but as a general rule you get between seventy to one hundred and twenty pound per week per person on ESA before tax if applicable and fifty to one hundred pounds per person per month of DLA/PIP subject to your low/middle/ high care

        There are of course many other components that a person may claim like carers but in general, only those above are the main ones and are subject to what group you are placed in with ESA for example

        The bottom line is as a judge once said the whole thing is a nightmare and I for one would whole heartily agree to that point

  4. Andrew rich permalink
    August 27, 2015 8:11 pm

    Sober he leaves the better for all of all concerned. Bye bye IDS

  5. August 27, 2015 8:49 pm

    the fact is tory or labour could not care for the ill they would like us all to die as long as we do not make to much noise in doing so

    • August 28, 2015 3:20 pm

      Apart from corbyn then labour in the past have indeed have held the same views as the conservatives

      Even those who are sick or disabled will not be able to rest easy in their beds knowing that their group type is constantly under attack from IDS and over time their health will deteriorate, as it is not normal to keep talking about the deaths of others without at some point those deaths impinging on your own health

  6. Tickety permalink
    August 30, 2015 8:54 pm

    I am dreaming. Its a nightmare from hell. Its never ending. Please – it is time to wake up now.

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