It’s ok if you call it research: Is the DWP carrying out an unethical social experiment on people claiming tax credits?
Following the mini success in the House of Lords in October, one could be forgiven for thinking that the first battle in the war on tax credits has been won. In reality, the first battle in this war was waged back April 2015. And it’s already been lost.
In April the DWP began using sanctions to take away tax credits from the lowest earning working poor. The DWP have called this a research project, more specifically a Randomised Control Trial (RCT). An RCT is a research model in which people are randomly assigned to an intervention or a control (no intervention) and compared. These kinds of trials have very strict safeguards to ensure the fair and ethical treatment of all participants, and these safeguards are especially essential in government trials given the obvious power imbalances and potentials for abuse.
As far as this trial is concerned there is limited information available…
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