Ian Duncan Smith: how many of your constituents will be at risk if this system continues?

, 01 September 2015, Tags:

The DWP says that no causal link can immediately be drawn between the death rates and benefit sanctions. This is by and large true: statistics only tell part of a story.  But, attendees who crammed the hall at last April’s constituency hustings (Mr Duncan Smith failed to attend, and gave no reason for his absence) will remember hearing Gill Thompson bravely share the story of her brother, unable to refrigerate his medication after punitive sanctions, who died as a result. This story, like many similar ones from the last 4 years, shows the statistics for what they are – a record of unnecessary deaths. 

The DWP claims that the overall mortality rate of those claiming a welfare payment has dropped. This is wonderful news – perhaps due to a variety of things, not least to the care delivered by our dedicated NHS workers.  But the improvement in survival prospects for welfare claimants comes, not because of, but in spite of the system of work capability tests, which the government has seen fit to outsource to US multinational Maximus. These tests are funded at great cost to the UK taxpayer, and when the inevitable administrative mistakes are made, stress and sadly, death to many innocent claimants is the result.

Over 2000 people in Chingford & Woodford Green are currently claiming welfare payments.  Many of those with long-term conditions such as cancer, contacted me during the election with their concerns about treatment and care.  Knowing as I do, that a number of claimants with terminal cancer have died after being declared fit for work, I ask Ian Duncan Smith: how many of your constituents will be risk if this system continues? 

Rebecca Tully

Green Party Parliamentary candidate for Chingford and Woodford Green 2015



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