Hundreds of Peer Reviews later DWP still cut benefits despite holding evidence people may die as a result
You may remember this article we wrote some years ago about the DWP cutting benefits despite holding evidence the claimants may die as a result.
This piece by ITV news shows things haven’t changed. DWP pretend to learn from these deaths but articles such as this show the grim reality.
24th March 2021 A new variant of the coronavirus was discovered in India.
Health officials warned it was significantly more infectious than other strains of the virus.
1st April 2021 The new variant was discovered in the UK for the first time.
Boris Johnson’s government failed to inform the public about it.
2nd April 2021 Pakistan and Bangladesh were placed on the UK’s no-travel list.
Travel from India was still permitted despite daily Covid cases being more than ten times higher than Pakistan and Bangladesh.
We asked the DHSC for a copy of its action plan for this variant as it stood on this date. We’re still waiting for it.
5th April 2021 Boris Johnson tells the nation “We set out our road map and we’re sticking in it. I want to stress that we see nothing in the present data that makes us think that we will have to deviate“.
7th April 2021 4.8% of the people arriving from India in the past two weeks tested positive for Covid 19. Boris Johnson says “I don’t think that anything I have seen leads me to suppose that we will have to change the road map or deviate“.
8th April 2021 In New Zealand where India was already on an effective red list Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces “We are temporarily suspending entry into New Zealand for travelers from India“.
14th April 2021 Recorded daily Covid cases pass 200,000 for the first time. The country is still not on the UK red list. Nearly 1,000 people per day are arriving in the UK from India.
19th April 2021 As daily Covid cases in India top a quarter of a million cancels his planned trip to the country and the government announces India will finally be added to the red list – but only in 4 days time.
We asked the Prime Minister’s office for records which explain why Boris Johnson delayed adding India to the red list.
The delay causes a surge in interest from people determined to travel from India to the UK before the new rules come into force. Travel website skyscanner records a 250% increase in searches for flights
20th April 2021 Boris Johnson addresses the nation and says “I see nothing in the data now that makes me think that we are going to have to deviate in any way from the road map“.
21st April 2021 India records a world record 314,000 Covid cases in one day.
23rd April 2021 India is finally added to UK’s red list. Three weeks have passed since the new variant was identified in the UK. In this time 20,000 passengers have flown from India to British airports. The number of local authorities reporting cases of the variant has risen from 2 to 128. The new variant is circulating widely in Britain.
13th May 2021 Boris Johnson says “At the moment I can see nothing that dissuades me from thinking we’ll be able to go ahead on Monday and indeed on June 21st” (to lift all UK restrictions completely).
19th May 2021 110 direct flights from India SINCE it joined the red list. It will be another two weeks before a terminal is set aside at Heathrow for arrivals from red list countries. In the meantime arrivals from countries like India will continue to mix in queues with other passengers.
21st May 2021 Boris Johnson says “I still see nothing in the data that leads me to think that we are going to have to deviate“.
27th May 2021 Matt Hancock says “Three quarters of all new cases are now of this variant”. Total cases are now at their highest for 6 weeks.
29th June 2021 Boris Johnson’s incompetence leads to countries banning ‘extremely high-risk’ UK from their incoming flights.
7th July 2021 The Prime Minister’s Office refused to show documents it held on why Boris Johnson failed to add India to Britain’s red list for so long. This only helps to confirm reports that Johnson didn’t want to upset India’s Prime Minister and a potential trade deal. It appears given the choice he preferred to risk the lives of UK citizens instead.
DWP under no obligation to safeguard claimant lives by warning third parties about benefit terminations – FoI response
It’s a shocking fact – but given the number of DWP deaths we really shouldn’t be all that surprised.
Is it any wonder DWP deaths are so high? DWP are free to stop anyone’s benefit and not even warn the claimant’s carer, doctor or other suitable health professional first.
The response goes on to state instead DWP staff are ’empowered’ to take any reasonable steps felt necessary where there is a concern regarding the health and wellbeing of a customer and their family. These include concerns about things such as risk of injury, neglect, physical or sexual abuse and exploitation. Just nothing relating to the termination of their benefit as that would apparently upset the Tory agenda.
Obviously this needs to change.
For some time we have been gathering data on how many people had died in jobcentres in 2017 and 2018. The DWP provided us with the figures for East London, West London, Surrey, Sussex, Kent, Thames Valley, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Scotland, Merseyside, Halton, Cumbria, Lancashire.
They claimed they didn’t hold the data for any individual region (obviously forgetting they provided it for the above regions). We asked them if previous information was provided in error (as we are entitled to do under Section 16 when they are not being clear) and they refused to supply an answer claiming it would require new information to be created.
They think it would put the safety of an individual at risk if they provided us with this information and implied it could reveal the location of an office. This is where they pretend to be idiots because what they say could only be true if there was only a single job centre in the likes of Wales, Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset. We checked and there was more than one. In fact there are several in each area.
As with the majority of other requests their true reason for refusing them is because of bad optics. People can die anywhere but DWP are aware it looks bad on them when they die in jobcentres, particularly if it has only just found them ‘fit for work’. It’s no surprise they want to keep that from you.
The matter is with the Information Commissioner.
The Tory Department of Health and Social Care is in such a state it doesn’t even know what it is doing
In response we had the usual dither and delay from them. They claimed they needed ‘extra time’ to decide if it was in the public interest to see what they had been doing to fight Covid-19.
More time went by and when the department finally responded they claimed it would be too costly to provide the information. There was no mention of the public interest test they had us waiting all this time for.
Let’s just look at this though. They’re actually saying the information we asked for is scattered all over the place and they have no combined plan of action. This means no single person could establish what they actually did about Covid-19 in January. This shows what a mess the department is in with papers scattered all over the place resulting in the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing.
The matter is presently with the Information Commissioner.
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock exposed having ‘drinks’ instead of attending key disability debate
Health issues are low on the agenda for most Tories judging by the lack of them taking part in these debates. But what about key people who really should have taken the time to be there? Where were they? Over the past few years we have been finding out.
This piece looks at Matt Hancock, who was Secretary of State for Health and Social Care at the time yet incredibly even he didn’t bother to turn up.
Throughout this investigation Matt Hancock’s department tried to cover up his activities during the key disability debate. First they claimed it would breach the Data Protection Act if they told us what he was up to.
Later they claimed disabled people didn’t have a right to know what he was doing as it was ‘personal’.
Beyond that they even wrote private letters to the Information Commissioner with other excuses as to why they wanted the information to be kept a secret.
The Information Commissioner wasn’t having any of it though. On 11th September 2020 she ruled against them.
She stated the exemption was ‘wrongly placed’ on the requested information and they ‘must release it within 35 working days or risk being held in Contempt of Court’.
Her notice was published on the ICO website for all to see.
The Department for Health and Social Care did not respect the decision of the ICO and appealed it – 3 months AFTER the expiry date.
Perhaps someone felt it would harm Matt Hancock’s chances of becoming Prime Minister if the public found out why he didn’t attend a key disability debate? After all who would been seen to vote for a person who couldn’t even be bothered to turn up for a debate like this?
On 13th April 2021 we were informed the DHSC withdrew its appeal and we were finally shown what Matt Hancock was doing instead of attending this important debate.
His diary reveals he WAS INDEED having drinks at the time. That’s right. Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock was having drinks instead of attending this key disability debate. Video. Transcript.
This wasn’t the only time Hancock felt he had more important places to be. He failed to attend the following key disability debate when Debbie Abrahams read out the names of DWP’s victims. This so-called Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has no interest in sick and disabled people. For this reason he should not be considered for the role of Prime Minister at any point.
You can read about what other Tories were up to at the time here.
We recommend all taxpayers take a keen interest in how the Tory government spends your money.
Today while browsing through Home Office spends we noticed many suspicious transactions.
It shows Home Office staff have spent your money in hair and beauty shops. We asked them for a copy of the documents to show what exactly was purchased. They told us we weren’t entitled to see the documents but went on to say their Claudia Lamb Independent purchases were international travel. Meanwhile the purchases at SP Beautiful Brows, Hair There And Everywhere and Global Beauty Products were for all for hand sanitiser.
|24/01/2020||500.00||CLAUDIA LAMB INDEPENDENT|
|24/01/2020||500.00||CLAUDIA LAMB INDEPENDENT|
|24/01/2020||500.00||CLAUDIA LAMB INDEPENDENT|
|24/01/2020||500.00||CLAUDIA LAMB INDEPENDENT|
|23/03/2020||806.40||SP BEAUTIFUL BROWS|
|23/03/2020||1,013.00||SP BEAUTIFUL BROWS|
|23/03/2020||2,625.80||SP BEAUTIFUL BROWS|
|24/03/2020||8,433.60||SP BEAUTIFUL BROWS|
|24/03/2020||19,555.20||SP BEAUTIFUL BROWS|
|24/03/2020||20,160.00||SP BEAUTIFUL BROWS|
|02/04/2020||864.00||HAIR THERE AND EVERYWHERE|
|06/04/2020||10,000.00||GLOBAL BEAUTY PRODUCTS|
|06/04/2020||20,000.00||GLOBAL BEAUTY PRODUCTS|
|22/04/2020||564.48||SP BEAUTIFUL BROWS|
What about their Adobe software subscriptions though?
Each transaction of £596.33 is for an annual subscription to Adobe’s ENTIRE software range. Here’s what their website says “Creative cloud gives you the entire collection of Adobe creative tools for your desktop and mobile. Enhance and perfect your photos with Photoshop and Lightroom. Create logos, graphics and icons with Illustrator. Produce printed documents like postcards, flyers, posters and magazines and business material like business cards, brochures and reports with InDesign. Design and publish websites with Dreamweaver and create prototypes of mobile apps with Adobe XD. Make stunning videos for film, TV and web.” Our question is why do Home Office staff need to spend public money on software to create logos, graphics, magazines, websites and videos?
It turns out they’re not very keen to tell us about these purchases.
|17/02/2020||596.33||ADOBE CREATIVE CLOUD|
|17/02/2020||596.33||ADOBE CREATIVE CLOUD|
|21/02/2020||596.33||ADOBE CREATIVE CLOUD|
|24/02/2020||596.33||ADOBE CREATIVE CLOUD|
|29/06/2020||849.60||ADOBE CREATIVE CLOUD|
|16/07/2020||596.33||Creative Cloud Indiv|
|28/09/2020||596.33||ADOBE CREATIVE CLOUD|
Procurement fraud cost the taxpayer £10 BILLION in 2017.
We asked them about their pet-related purchases too. They informed us dogs are used in ‘border control’. We interpret this to mean dogs are trained to sniff out people trying to get into the country illegally.
Johnson finally admits he should have locked the country down sooner but he still doesn’t want public to know when he was FIRST advised to lock down
On 14th March 2021, according to the Telegraph, Boris Johnson finally admitted that he should have put the country into lockdown sooner than 23rd March 2020. Perhaps he was discussing our Freedom of Information request which asked for documents showing when he was first advised to lock down.
We know he was advised to lock down on 14th March 2020 but his office doesn’t want the public to know when he was first advised to do so. In fact if you look beyond our request it appears they haven’t said much of anything.
It is our belief the Tories don’t want public attention drawn to just how many people in the UK died of Covid-19 between January 2020 and April 2020. Many people just assume the deaths didn’t start happening until March 2020 but this is untrue. The first recorded death of a UK citizen according to the National Statistics Office (NSO) was on 30th January 2020.
Extract from NSO Daily provisional non-cumulative figures on death occurrence where coronavirus (COVID-19) was mentioned on the death certificate in the UK
|Date||UK||England||Scotland||Wales||Northern Ireland||What happened|
|01/03/2020||Johnson visits patients suffering from the virus without a mask and later boasts that he shook hands with everyone despite three UK deaths. Watch the video.|
|02/03/2020||1||1||0||0||0||Johnson chairs his first COBRA meeting on Covid-19, after not attending the previous five on the day that fourth UK person dies.|
|03/03/2020||0||0||0||0||0||Johnson launches an ‘action plan’|
|04/03/2020||1||1||0||0||0||Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty warns there will be deaths on the day that fifth UK person dies.|
|05/03/2020||2||2||0||0||0||Johnson shakes more hands on day that seventh UK person dies|
|06/03/2020||2||2||0||0||0||Foreign office issues quarantine warning to Brits returning from Italy instead of all arrivals on day that ninth UK person dies.|
|07/03/2020||0||0||0||0||0||Government promises an uninterrupted supply of PPE as London hospital reports shortages.|
|08/03/2020||2||2||0||0||0||Johnson visits flood-hit Worcestershire as local accuses him of ‘stage-managed PR affair’ on day that eleventh UK person dies.|
|09/03/2020||5||5||0||0||0||Culture Secretary says there is no reason for people to not attend events or cancel them on the day that five more people die in UK.|
|10/03/2020||3||3||0||0||0||Over 60,000 racegoers are allowed to pack into the stands at the Cheltenham Festival on day that nineteenth UK person dies.|
|11/03/2020||7||7||0||0||0||The World Health Organisation declares coronavirus a pandemic. Day 2 of Cheltenham is allowed. Liverpool FC host Atletico at Anfield in front of 52,000 people. Tory MPs pat Sunak on the back. Today another seven UK people die.|
|12/03/2020||13||11||2||0||0||Johnson announces he will hold daily press conferences to update the public and warns ‘many more families are going to lose loved ones before their time’. Today another thirteen UK people die.|
|13/03/2020||16||16||0||0||0||No10 announces mass gatherings such as sports events, gigs and conferences, will be banned but only from the following week. A Whitehall source suggests the move is to help free up emergency services rather than curb the virus spread. Today another sixteen UK people die.|
|14/03/2020||21||19||2||0||0||One of the times Johnson was advised to lock down as another twenty one UK people die.|
|15/03/2020||30||28||1||1||0||Spain & France follow Italy and impose lockdown restrictions. Hancock says government plans to ask vulnerable and elderly to stay at home but not yet. Today another thirty UK people die.|
|16/03/2020||49||43||3||3||0||Johnson said “Now is the time for everyone to stop non-essential contact and travel“.|
|17/03/2020||58||54||3||1||0||The Imperial study emerges publicly, and blows apart the government’s strategy of “mitigating” the virus by finding it will still lead to 250,000 deaths.|
|18/03/2020||73||66||4||2||1||Johnson yet again stops short of announcing a full lockdown, instead saying: “We will not hesitate to go further, and faster, in the days and weeks ahead.” Today seventy three more UK people die.|
|19/03/2020||79||71||4||4||0||No10 says there is zero prospect of any travel restrictions being placed on travelling in or out of London. It’s not happening. Two hundred and eighty six UK people have now died.|
|20/03/2020||117||108||5||4||0||Clubs, cafes, restaurants, theatres, cinemas, bookies and gyms are finally told to shut their doors from midnight, as children have their final day at school. Today another one hundred and seventeen UK people died.|
|21/03/2020||141||124||7||9||1||With no legal restrictions in force thousands of people are allowed to gather. Today another one hundred and forty one UK people died.|
|22/03/2020||182||171||6||4||1||Johnson announces shielding for more than a million vulnerable Brits at a press conference where journalists are still asked to attend in person. Today another one hundred and eighty two UK people died.|
|23/03/2020||206||188||7||7||4||Johnson announced the first lockdown in the UK, ordering people to ‘stay at home’. By the end of today nine hundred and thirty two UK people will have died according to the National Statistics Office.|
|25/03/2020||336||298||22||12||4||Coronavirus Act 2020 gets Royal Assent|
|26/03/2020||409||370||23||12||4||Lockdown measures legally come into force|
|16/04/2020||1316||1144||101||55||16||Lockdown extended for ‘at least’ three weeks|
|30/04/2020||778||658||68||39||13||Johnson says “we are at the peak of the pandemic”|
Cumulative deaths where Covid was mentioned on the death certificate
|03/06/2020||52,935||45,821||4,009||2,322||783||Johnson says he is ‘very proud’ of the government response to Covid-19. By the end of today 52,935 UK people will have died.|
|01/01/2021||92,865||79,180||6,686||5,169||1,830||By the end of today 92,865 UK people will have died.|
|16/02/2021||Not yet released||Not yet released||Not yet released||Not yet released||Not yet released||We asked DHSC to provide details of what it did to tackle Covid-19 during January 2020.|
|16/03/2021||Not yet released||Not yet released||Not yet released||Not yet released||Not yet released||DHSC told us it needed more time to determine if it was in the public interest to show us what it did to tackle Covid-19 during January 2020.|
|25/03/2021||Not yet released||Not yet released||Not yet released||Not yet released||Not yet released||Grieving families united in call for Covid inquiry demand ‘tell us why they died’.|
|15/04/2021||Not yet released||Not yet released||Not yet released||Not yet released||Not yet released||DHSC claimed it still needed more time to decide whether it’s in your interest to reveal what work it did to tackle Covid-19 back in January 2020.|
It is our view that the Prime Minister should be held to account not only for those who died of Covid-19 up to 23rd March 2020 but also those who ultimately died of the virus after catching it from someone exposed directly or indirectly prior to the first lock down.
Of particular importance though is that he is held to account for those who died as a direct or indirect result of him not locking the country down after first being advised to do so. He knew full well more people would die if he didn’t lock the country down and yet he still dithered and delayed. That’s why it’s so important the public know when he was first advised to lock down. Imagine if it was February, for instance. All those people who would still be alive if only they knew it was unsafe to mix with people.
The Prime Minister’s Office says you do not have the right to know when he was first advised to lock down but we think they are trying to cover up for all the lives lost. The Information Commissioner currently has possession of this information and is deciding if it should be released. This piece shall be updated to reflect her decision.
Further source about Boris Johnson’s ‘regrets’.
In 2001, the then Labour Government pledged to eradicate child poverty by 2020, but 20 years later, predictions claim more than five million children will be living in deprivation by the end of 2021. Of course, Labour couldn’t fulfil the pledge since they were voted out in 2010. If voters thought the Tories would sort it out they now know otherwise!
It was shocking to note all the reports ended in the same way. The presenters informed us that they asked for an interview with a Tory DWP spokesperson but no-one was available despite being given 12 days notice. It was the same each time.
History has shown us time and again that the Tories are not interested in these issues. When Tory Amber Rudd was in charge at the DWP she avoided a key disability debate to have Christmas drinks. When Theresa May was Prime Minister she avoided the same debate in favour of Christmas drinks. Meanwhile Hancock’s department prefers to spend more taxpayers money trying to fight the release of what he was doing instead of attending the key disability debate. Collectively this shows the contempt Tories have for such important issues.
Matt Hancock sank to new lows today when he claimed there was never a PPE shortage during the pandemic. Doctors and MPs condemned the UK health secretary as “deeply insulting” on Tuesday after he insisted that his team had delivered protective equipment for frontline NHS staff in the “teeth of a pandemic”.
Perhaps he should tell that to the nurses who were forced to wear bin bags because of the PPE shortage. Perhaps he should tell the NHS staff who were told to wear aprons instead of protective gowns.
Shortly after the bin bag story broke, the chief coroner curiously issued ‘guidance’ to his underlings not to blame Tory PPE shortages when considering the deaths of NHS staff.
We asked the Department of Health and Social Care to provide us with Hancock’s evidence, if it exists.