More than ninety people a month are dying shortly after being declared fit to work by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
Statistics released by the DWP, after a freedom of information request, showed that between December 2011 and February 2014 2,380 people who had their employment and support allowance (ESA) was stopped when a work capability assessment found they were “fit for work”, died shortly after.
Still the DWP is defending these figures, claiming they “prove no causal effect between benefits and mortality”.
Earlier in the same week the DWP was heavily criticised for a leaflet which contained quotes about positive experiences of the welfare system from fictitious characters. Some of the quotes described how the fictious characters felt benefit sanctions helped them by encouraging them to write their CV. The reality is that draconian benefit sanctions leave people in need penniless.
With £12 billion to be cut from welfare, Iain Duncan Smith has said he aims to get one million people who currently claim ESA into work. He also plans to toughen up work capability assessments!