The language used by Govt towards disabled people is incredible – talk about patronising. It seems they’ve thrown away decades of progress (& what the press wrote about them).Posted: June 22, 2015
The work and pensions secretary can’t help looking Bond villain sinister and menacing; that’s just the way he was born. Even when he’s smiling, he looks as if he’s planning a minor war crime. Someone, though, could possibly have worked on the tone of his voice, which seldom deviates from either patronising – his version of nice – or contemptuous, while he was locked away from the country. But no; finally unleashed for his first outing at the dispatch box in the new parliament, IDS had months of pent-up disdain and anger to get off his chest and nothing was going to stop the Beast getting the beast off his back. Hopefully, it was therapeutic for him, if no one else.
George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith have thrashed out plans to slash another £12 billion a year from the benefits bill.
The Chancellor and Work and Pensions Secretary reiterated their determination to swing the axe just hours after a major anti-austerity protest on the streets of London.
The two men are believed to have agreed details of the cuts pledged in the Tory manifesto over the last few days – putting paid to rumours that they could be scaled back or delayed.
They have already said the household benefits cap will be reduced from £26,000 to £23,000 a year and housing benefit and tax credits are expected to bear the brunt.
Repeating the claim that Britain makes up 7% of all the welfare spending globally despite having just 4% of GDP, the pair said the arrangements had “incentivised people to live a life on benefits”.
They argued that the new universal credit would rationalise the “Byzantine” network of means-tested payments and ensure it is always in the interests of those on benefits to work more.
The coalition axed £21billion from the welfare budget, but Mr Osborne and Mr Duncan Smith warned that it will still make up 12.7% of spending in 2019-20
Benefit cuts deaths: Revealed, how Tories are trying to ‘fudge’ figures claiming they’re too ’emotive’
The Tories are trying to ‘fudge’ figures on welfare cuts deaths in a shock dossier which claims they’re too ’emotive’, Mirror Online can reveal.
The news has prompted fury from campaigners, 220,000 of whom have signed a petition to find how many people died after being found fit for work.
Iain Duncan Smith’s department is waging a legal fight against a request for the figures, claiming it’ll reveal them in its own time.
Today Prime Minister David Cameron insisted the data “will be published and is being prepared for publication as we speak”.
But Mirror Online has seen a crucial document which exposes how the Department for Work and Pensions is set to avoid scrutiny.
It shows officials want to release ‘standardised’ figures which won’t show the actual number of deaths – even though they released actual death numbers in 2012.
Instead of the real-life numbers they plan to release ‘Age Standardised Mortality Rates’, which present deaths as a ratio when compared to the population as a whole.
The DWP filed the 10-page letter in its legal battle against the Information Commissioner watchdog, which has ruled the figures should be made public.
It claims releasing the real number of deaths is ‘likely to be misinterpreted’.
That wouldn’t be ‘in the public interest’ because the topic is too ’emotive’, it adds.
The document declares: “Incorrect conclusions were likely to be drawn as to causal links between assessment outcomes and mortality.
“Such misinterpretations would be contrary to the public interest, particularly given the emotive and sensitive context of mortality statistics.
“The more holistic ASMR analysis will minimise the risk of any such misinterpretations.”
The move has been blasted by campaigner Mike Sivier, who made the Freedom of Information request through his blog, around the same time as others by the Mirror.
Mr Sivier, who received the document, said: “We would be given a fudged figure showing the number of deaths among ESA claimants when compared with the average number among the population as a whole.”
That is not what I requested. It is not what anybody wants.
“In this context, is it any wonder that so many people are signing the petition?”
Despite the huge movement Iain Duncan Smith has blasted Labour MPs’ support as ‘disgraceful’.
This week he claimed Labour is trying to ‘scare’ people and the government ‘doesn’t collate the numbers’ – even though his own officials openly admit they do.
Labour MP Debbie Abrahams has said Mr Duncan Smith could be bringing the Commons into ‘disrepute’ over the discrepancy and demanded he correct the record.
When Mirror Online revealed the ‘fudge’ to her today she said: “I am appalled that the Department for Work and Pensions is seeking once again to avoid scrutiny.