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.
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.
Throughout this Covid-19 pandemic, accusations have been made by various NHS staff members countrywide that they’ve not been supplied with enough PPE to keep them safe.
We’ve had cases of: NHS doctors lacking PPE being ‘bullied’ into treating Covid-19 patients. NHS staff forced to use bin liners because of failures to supply them with enough PPE. NHS staff gagged over PPE shortages. There have even been reports of NHS staff being asked to sacrifice themselves due to a lack of PPE.
Even the coroners investigating NHS staff deaths from Covid-19 have been ordered not to consider the PPE shortfall as a factor in these deaths.
Doctors have launched a High Court challenge against the Tories over their refusal to hold a public inquiry into the PPE shortage.
With all of that in mind, we asked the Department of Health and Social Care for records of what PPE it delivered to which hospitals and when over a three-month period. The request was refused because it exceeded cost limitations. We tried various ways to get this information, so far without success. Despite it clearly being in the public interest to see records telling us if the Tories really weren’t delivering enough PPE to keep staff safe, the public interest apparently doesn’t matter when cost limitations are exceeded. Even when deaths are involved.
Without serious intervention, there is absolutely nothing in place to prevent the Department of Health and Social Care from effectively destroying evidence that it potentially allowed NHS staff to die without sufficient protection. We think that stinks.
New Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey this week claimed “Voters have lost faith in us”.
It’s easy to see why when we take a look at his voting record.
He’s clearly no friend of disabled people and is happy to see them struggle to make ends meet.
He’s no friend of the low-paid – almost always voting for a higher VAT rate.
He’s no friend of freedom-of-speech as he voted to suppress it during elections (gagging law).
He voted to sell off our forests.
He’s clearly a fan of fracking as he voted against regulating it further.
He wants people to pay higher rail fares.
He voted to privatise Royal Mail.
He almost always voted to restrict legal aid making it impossible for poorer people to get justice.
Basically he’s a Tory in yellow. He’ll have to change his ways before people start trusting him.
Poorer areas that backed Tories face fresh funding cuts as cash switched to wealthy southern regions
Poorer areas that delivered Boris Johnson’s election triumph are facing fresh cuts to local services – as funds are switched to wealthy Southern shires instead.
Hundreds of millions of pounds will be diverted because of a new formula which significantly downgrades the importance of deprivation in assessing need, an analysis shows.
The shake-up will hurt high-profile Tory election gains including Workington, Stoke-on-Trent, Grimsby, West Bromwich, Sedgefield, Bishop Auckland and Redcar, it shows.
A counter-terrorism police document distributed to medical staff and teachers as part of anti-extremism briefings included Greenpeace, Peta and other non-violent groups as well as neo-Nazis, the Guardian has learned.
The guide, produced by Counter Terrorism Policing, is used across England as part of training for Prevent, the anti-radicalisation scheme designed to catch those at risk of committing terrorist violence.
Boris Johnson is apparently quite happy for Simon Hart to claim extraordinary amounts of money from the taxpayer given that he’s appointed him as Secretary for Wales. Hart was previously shamed for claiming over £7,500 for first-class rail tickets for himself last year.
On top of that he’s given a life peerage to his Tory chum Nicky Morgan so she can reclaim her title of culture secretary.
A number of Tory DWP adverts ‘to set the record straight’ have been banned by the ASA for misleading the public.
The six adverts listed “myths” such as “Universal Credit doesn’t work” and “You have to wait five weeks to get any money on Universal Credit” followed by “facts” reading: “People move into work faster on UC than they did on the old system”.
Z2K chief executive Raji Hunjan said the charity was calling for an independent investigation into the DWP’s working practices following the ruling.
She said: “This damning judgement against the DWP, which finds it guilty of misleading advertising, exaggeration and its failure to substantiate and qualify its claims, reveals an attitude which is not acceptable in public service, especially in the department charged with protecting people from living in poverty.
Boris Johnson was booed by an angry medical student as he left a Cambridge hospital while on a visit, where he set himself a new Brexit deadline of leaving the EU by January “at the absolute latest”.
The prime minister appeared to get a frosty reception at Addenbrooke’s hospital, where staff were not given advance warning of his visit and national media were not invited to attend.
He was confronted by Julia Simons, a 23-year-old medical student, who later criticised him for using the hospital for a “PR stunt”. “Staff were not informed even when he was in the hospital. He was too cowardly to face the uncensored opinions of staff because we know the reality the effects of his government’s and party’s policies on patients,” she said afterwards.