Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Welfare Whoppers


Before I started campaigning, I was under the naive impression that politicians were not allowed to mislead parliament.

I thought there were very serious penalties.

It turns out, there were no penalties at all. The government can say what they like, lie through their teeth, invent statistics, and no-one can stop them. Not one Prime Minister since the middle of the 17th Century has been disciplined for misleading the Houses.

Today, we see Iain Duncan-Smith lying about Tax Credits here

It isn't a casual fib or a slight distortion, it's an out and out lie. At least we ought to call it by its real name. He claims that Tax credits rose by 58% under Labour when the actual figure is 8%

A twitter friend reminded me of this lie too and it occurred to me, perhaps we should collate all the lies here in the comment thread below? If we can put together a comprehensive list, I will print them all out and send them to John Bercow (speaker of the House of Commons) and the parliamentary standards commissioner. In the past, our complaints have been ignored and fobbed off, but if the evidence we collect is unarguable, surely something could be done?

If you remember any particularly misleading claims, could I ask you to post the link below, preferably with a Full Fact or Fact Check analysis and a very short precis of what the article is about? Any lies relating to welfare will be helpful, whether from of IDS, Grayling, Miller or Freud (obviously any others you think are relevant too.)

If nothing else, this blog will act as a record for future historians.

Those of your who often ask what you can do to help, here's a nice, simple little research project that could have a big impact.

Happy New Year to all of you and let's resolve today, on 1st January, that this lying stops.


40 comments:

  1. I've been thinking about this a lot, both the lying and what to do about it. The government have lied about all sorts of things including national debt [and labour's contribution to it] through to there being families where 3 generations have never worked [to support the culture of scrounging] but the Rowntree Foundation could find no evidence.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well you can have this for starters!

    2012: A Year of Lies and Blunders at the DWP Part 1
    http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2013/01/01/2012-a-year-of-lies-and-blunders-at-the-dwp-part-1


    Oh and also thhis
    http://blogs.channel4.com/factcheck/factcheck-ids-tax-credit-claims-discredited/12160

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  3. My 2013 aim is to always use the term Social Security instead of the pejorative "welfare" beloved of those opposed to a fair society

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  4. Claims about multi-generational culture of worklessness disproved by the Rowntree Foundation.

    http://www.jrf.org.uk/blog/2012/12/cultures-worklessness

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  5. Off the top of my head, Osbourne, Autumn statement 2012:
    "disabled people and carers will be supported", "disability benefits not affected"
    But ESA subject to the 1% rise, equivalent to a benefit cut. Affects all claimants, both support and WRAG.
    See my blog for explanation.
    http://loopys-rollingwiththepunches.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/the-autumn-statement-and-disability.html

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  6. Universal Credit.
    Many links could be found here to say that it will "focus money on the most disabled". David Cameron says so in the link I give here. But people receiving SDP (arguably the "most disabled") will lose out. Even cash protected, eventually this protection will be eroded and any new claimant will be much worse off under the new system. This will affect 230,000 people straight off according to this link, who will lose between £28-58 per week.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-19966370

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  7. How's this one
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2068891/Child-poverty-Benefits-harm-good-says-Iain-Duncan-Smith.html

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  8. Remember the 120,000 troubled families

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2175094/Troubled-Families-report-lifts-lid-120-000-problem-households.html

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  9. I have the impression Sue was referring to lies in Parliament here, but hey, if we're not then THIS is outrageous and just plain barmy lying as we all know (and it was plastered over the media too) the government has already handed tens of millions of pounds of our money over to the WPP as attachment fees.

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  10. The welfare cap being not applicable to those in work -repeated over and over again by Government and journalists alike and a outright lie-receivers of CA as an obvious example.Also disingenuous at best to suggest that the disabled are not effected given the definition of household for benefit purposes and receivers of CA are as must impact on them even if not personally financially effected.

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  11. I would have thought that the entire contents of the FactCheck and FullFact blog sites would give us all the information Sue's asked for and more!

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  12. IDS will have his come uppence at a later date when one of the relatives of those that have died prematurely through being told they were fit for work but weren't and died takes him and the government to court for the gross negligence leading to their death

    This is the most serious of charges ever to be brought against a government minister and is a ticking time bomb for the whole of this conservative government of which whatever excuse they offer will not let them off the hook under uk law

    There are a vast amount of people responsible across the many departments and contractors that have been and continue to be responsible for the premature deaths of the sick and disabled and these deaths will continue and can only now be stopped and i repeat can only now be stopped by the crown court of human justice /European court of human rights and nobody else

    It is now too late for IDS to say he has made a mistake as the death toll is too high for any back tracking and to admit an error now or even in future would bring about far reaching consequences of which this country has never seen before

    The deaths will continue and that's a fact and in going forward in 2013 only the survival of the fittest will live and for everyone else only the good lord will be able to help them

    We here under Sue's guidance will do our utmost to help in every way possible but for some regretfully it will not be enough

    If anyone should feel that it's all getting to much for them then i have found the police to be very helpful and good listeners but in reality you need to use your mp wherever possible even if he or she is useless as many are

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  13. there's no 'help' for people getting back to work. They're just starved.

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  14. "making work pay"-under UC on returning to any work my position will be at best less raise in income than when I worked(same circumstances)under current system and at worst an actual reduction in income.

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  15. The implementation of PIP is not a financial cut. The assessment means itself, by way of inflexible point scoring descriptors will cut out the lowest rate of DLA care component, and it will be impossible to receive the enhanced mobility award unless a claimant is wheelchair bound. Projected financial savings have already been projected in the earlier draft regulations. The biggest lie - in the December 13th statement - By October 2015 we estimate we will have reassessed 560,000 claimants.

    Of these 160,000 will get a reduced award and 170,000 will get no award. However 230,000 will get the same support or more support.

    This blows apart the ideal that PIP is a fair assessment that isn't target driven made possible by the introduction of an unfair assessment which changes the definition of disability stated in the Equality Act,when they already know in advance that the majority of those to be reassessed at the earliest will lose money, or get none at all. This should not be possible until claimants have been assessed.

    If you are sick or disabled - we will look after you, Tory manifesto. Transparently arguable that a 1% increase in disability benefits frozen for 3 years is a drastic cut in benefits.

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  16. Access To Work:
    July 2012: Anne McGuire is told to "check her facts" when Miller tells the HoC that AtW was “actually spending more money than ever before in supporting disabled people across the country”.

    Nov 2012: Esther McVey admits spending on its Access to Work (AtW) employment support programme for disabled people has plummeted since 2010.

    http://www.disabledgo.com/blog/2012/11/miller-faces-questions-after-new-minister-admits-access-to-work-spending-has-plunged/

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  17. PMQs when questioned on the NHS

    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/jamie-reed/david-cameron-misleading-on-nhs_b_1262884.html

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  18. My apologies for the short essay here. In 2010 I did this for a few of the justifications for a charity I worked for. I’ve more or less copied and pasted a few, and tried to fix the referencing (done poorly at the time) for this format. If the references don’t match up precisely, that’s my fault. A bunch of these have also been covered by Fullfact or the channel 4 fact checker as well, but I didn’t always reference this as it tended to occur well after the claim was made (due to delays with FOIs and so on). I’ve posted in two parts due to character limits.

    130,000 not reviewed since 1992. (1,2) This claim has been made by Maria Miller in the House of Commons, repeated by another Conservative MP and has been repeated in several media outlets. However, the actual statistical source states that 127,750 have not had their payment changed since 1992.(3) This is an important distinction as a note accompanying this statistic states that some of these people will have been reviewed but not had their payment changed, and so are not included in the statistic. This means those who have contacted the DWP themselves, or been reviewed by the Benefit Integrity Project, the Periodic Reviews, or the Right Payment Programme, will not have been included in this statistic. The Right Payment Programme is the most recent of the DWPs reviewing mechanisms. It specifically focuses on those whose claim is most likely to change, and reviews about 12,000 DLA cases a year. Furthermore, a response from the DWP to a parliamentary question showed that they do not know how many people have actually been reviewed under these schemes.

    There is no mechanism to check if claims remain correct, meaning that long term claimants are treated the same as short term claimants.(4) This claim is relevant to the previous one, as the statistics overlap. As stated above, the Benefit Integrity Project, Periodic Reviews and Right Payment Programme have all reviewed claims from 1997 onwards. Statistics also show that only 23% of new DLA claims are given an indefinite award.(5) These indefinite awards go to those whose conditions are unlikely to change, yet are still subject to the DWP’s reviewing mechanisms. As those on indefinite awards, by definition, remain on DLA, they now make up the majority of claimants – about 2 million.

    Only half of DLA applicants have to show medical evidence (made in parliament). This claim has also manifested itself as “half do not have to provide any independent evidence (appeared in Q&A session with Maria Miller in the Guardian (6), to TFN on 4th February 2011, in Commons debate on 11th January 2011, and in a Telegraph article by Iain Duncan Smith(7)). Strictly speaking, it is true to say only half have to provide medical evidence; it is not true to say half do not have to provide any independent evidence. The statistics shows that 47% of new applicants have to provide medical evidence, 36% provide non-medical evidence (can include occupational therapists, social workers, schools, day centres), and only 16% do not provide any evidence.(8) As the statistic for those who have to provide medical evidence is the only one that appears to be used by the government, it risks misleading people to assume that the other half do not have to provide any evidence.

    DLA may act as a barrier to employment. This is stated in the consultation paper, and is based on a single research paper. Whilst the research does find a link between unemployment and DLA, even after taking into account other factors, it states that more research is necessary to establish a solid link and to see if these findings apply to long term DLA claimants, as the research itself was exploratory, qualitative, and only examined new DLA applicants.(9) Furthermore, nothing in the PIP proposals indicate how the new benefit would improve on this problem. PIP would still be paid regardless of employment.

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  19. The caseload of DLA is increasingly too rapidly and is unsustainable. The perception of DLA as an unsustainable benefit is subjective and backed up by no evidence of unsustainability, other than the increase in expenditure. It is true that the caseload has increased considerably. However, in 1998 the take-up rate of the benefit was reviewed by the Social Security Select Committee. It was estimated that only about half of those entitled to the benefit were claiming it, and so progress has since been made towards rectifying this.(10) As the caseload was 2 million in 1998, this would indicate another 2 million were eligible but not claiming. The caseload has only risen to 3.2 million now, indicating some eligible individuals are still not claiming. The DLA consultation claimed that the caseload is rising rapidly and is out of control, which appears to completely disregard the 1998 Social Security committee report.

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  20. More people claim higher rate DLA for drug and alcohol addiction than blindness. There are several problems with this statement. First, DLA is not administered by disabling condition, but rather by what the applicant can and cannot do. Condition tends to be recorded more as a reference point. Second, those who are blind only recently gained access to higher rate mobility under new regulations in April 2011. As this is a recent change, many eligible blind people will not yet be claiming higher rate DLA; in fact, the DWP estimates that 23,000 people with visual impairments will now be eligible for higher rate mobility DLA.(11) Third, there are two categories that relate to people who are blind: “Blindness” and “Deaf/Blind”. Added together, there are 12,900 DLA higher rate claimants who are blind, compared to 12,500 who are drug or alcohol addicts. Furthermore, when the other rates are taken into account, 47,100 more people claim for blindness than drug and alcohol addiction.

    *Update* Maria Miller originally made this claim during an interview with the BBC on the day of the Hardest Hit March (interview can be found here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13364443). Now she has more recently claimed that there are more higher rate mobility component claimants for drug and alcohol abuse than blindness. Whilst this is technically true, it is worth noting that this is just one of five possible components and that blind claimants only got access to higher rate mobility DLA in April 2011, for which the DWP estimates there are 23,000 eligible claimants, more than double the number of claimants who are drug or alcohol addicts.

    (1)Comments by Maria Miller, Minister for Disabled People during House of Commons debate 11th January 2011. Column 266 http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm110111/debtext/110111-0004.htm#1101122000002
    (2)Department for Work and Pensions (2011) ‘Disability Living Allowance to be replaced with new benefit’ http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/press-releases/2011/apr-2011/dwp038-11.shtml
    (3)Capocci, H. (2011) ‘Analysis of Disability Living Allowance: DLA Awards’ Department for Work and Pensions. Retrieved 23rd March 2011 from http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd1/adhoc_analysis/2011/analysis_of_disability_living_allowance_DLA_awards.pdf
    (4)The Guardian (2011) ‘Live Q&A: The minister in charge of the Disability Living Allowance takes your questions’ 4th February 2011. http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/blog/2011/feb/04/disability-allowance-questions-minister-maria-miller
    (5)Capocci, H. (2011) See above
    (6) The Guardian (2011) ‘Live Q&A: The minister in charge of the Disability Living Allowance takes your questions’ 4th February 2011. http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/blog/2011/feb/04/disability-allowance-questions-minister-maria-miller

    (7)Iain Duncan Smith (2011) ‘It’s time to end this addiction to benefits’ The Telegraph 16th February 2011. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/8329315/Its-time-to-end-this-addiction-to-benefits.html
    (8)Capocci, H. (2011) ‘Analysis of Disability Living Allowance: DLA Awards’ Department for Work and Pensions. Retrieved 23rd March 2011 from http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd1/adhoc_analysis/2011/analysis_of_disability_living_allowance_DLA_awards.pdf
    (9)Thomas, A. and Griffiths, R. (2010) ‘Disability Living allowance and work: Exploratory research and evidence’ Department for Work and Pensions. Research Report no. 648
    (10)Social Security Select Committee (1998) ‘Disability Living Allowance’ Fourth Report
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199798/cmselect/cmsocsec/641/64102.htm
    (11)Department for Work and Pensions (2011) ‘Disability Living Allowance Higher Rate Mobility Component for Certain Severely Visually Impaired Customers’ Equality Impact Assessment. September 2010 http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/dla-severely-visually-impaired-customers.pdf

    ReplyDelete
  21. atos chief executive in the UK:

    ursula.morgenstern@atosorigin.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. How can you tell when a Tory is lying? Their lips are moving.

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  23. Change to pension income rule in ESA as I believe to be followed through to PIP too. On the highest rate care DLA I recieve £61 a week CESA (supported) a catastrophic amount is deducted because of a small early retirement pension, much needed to pay for equipment, adaptations and care. I have recorded the difference in rules below in IB to ESA. The £85 a week rule as is clear has been abolished in ESA for the people on highest care.
    This shows a welfare whooper
    Pension income rules IB
    If you have a gross pension income of more than £85 a week, the amount of benefit will be reduced by half of the excess.
    The excess is the difference between £85 and the actual pension income. For example, for a pension income of £100, the excess is £15. The amount of Incapacity Benefit payable is reduced by half of that, which is £7.50.
    Exceptions
    This rule does not apply if:
    you were in receipt of Incapacity Benefit before 6 April 2001
    your claim is made under the linking rules for Incapacity Benefit and links back to before 6 April 2001
    you receive the highest rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance


    Pension income rules ESA
    If you have a gross pension income of more than £85 a week, the amount of benefit will be reduced by half of the excess.
    The excess is the difference between £85 and the actual pension income. For example, for a pension income of £100, the excess is £15. The amount of Incapacity Benefit payable is reduced by half of that, which is £7.50.
    Exceptions
    This rule does not apply if:
    you were in receipt of Incapacity Benefit before 6 April 2001
    your claim is made under the linking rules for Incapacity Benefit and links back to before 6 April 2001
    you receive the highest rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DLA and PIP should not be reduced because of retirement income, unlike IB and ESA

      Delete
    2. That's right the DLA and PIP will not be reduced, it is just the ESA that is reduced on highest rate care where it wasn't on IB. Just makes people on a small pension income take a cut similar to loss of SDP in my opinion. Thank you for replying as I'm not the best writer or good at explaining.



      Delete
  24. the writer of the blog 'ayes to the left' lists david cameron's lies .

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  25. And isn't Atos a firm that worked for the US who found them to be against their human rights and got rid of them? I know I've read that somewhere recently!
    All of this unelected government spouted out so many lies before and after the election that they haven't stopped since! What about Cameron's speech on becoming Prime Minister? Hasn't he broken every one of those promises?
    The unelected government have broken so many of our basic human rights - here: http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you may be thinking of Unum the health insurance company.

      Delete
  26. What about the lies in the newspapers? Can we do anything about that??

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  27. Information you have provided for the was very niche and
    Thanks for sharing. And wants to advise on finance- here:
    Independent Financial Advisors UK

    ReplyDelete
  28. I can offer Lies by ATOS Assessor. My ESA85 is full of outright lies. Will also do some research on the comments here.

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  29. The government have repeatedly claimed that increases in the number of people going into the ESA Support Group is down to improvements they've made in the claiming and assessment process. It isn't: the trend here began even before Malcolm Harrington published his first report. http://masondixonautistic.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/phallus-of-false-cause.html

    They also claimed that they have agreed with or implemented all of Harrington's recommendations, which they have not and have had to adjust this claim accordingly. The material from the second Harrington review lays out what proposals the government demanded to be changed in their entirety and Harrington offered no resistance to this.

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  30. http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/12/iraq-war-unlawful-all-27-uk-foreign-affairs-lawyers-2003-official-report-delayed-again-uk-govt-today.html - Something can surely be done - they are trying to withhold something to vital from the people who suffered from these wars that were/are illegal. Also, that amount of money wasted, just needlessly wasted! I am so angry that I could scream. How dare they try and block this report - this is supposed to be a country of free speech! This report also belongs to us, we pay this unelected government their wages - they work for US!

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  31. the main problem with IDS is that he has had no proper training his education is poor his back ground is very average and for him to do his job properly he needs to stand out in a commanding role of the utmost of honorable people

    This is not IDS and therefor whatever he says could never be believed so in reality he just goes day in day out going round in circles condemning the sick and disabled whilst at the same time getting a vast salary of over £100,000 per year so he's certainly no fool

    Over time you will see him get old and gray and disappear the only trouble here thou is how many sick and disabled will be alive to witness it
    not many that's my guess


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  32. A whopper here from Freud back in November when he was claiming that people were scamming a lifestyle on benefits:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/nov/22/benefits-system-dreadful-tory-minister

    "The incapacity benefits, the lone parents, the people who are self-employed for year after year and only earn hundreds of pounds or a few thousand pounds, the people waiting for their work ability assessment then not going to it – all kinds of areas where people are able to have a lifestyle off benefits and actually off conditionality," the Conservative peer said.

    As we who are subject to the WCA for claiming ESA know, you cant just refuse to go. You get one chance to rearrange without being sanctioned and after that you will get cut off. Full stop. There is no 'lifestyle' in applying for ESA then refusing to go to the WCA but Freud is lying to get people to believe that you can just keep putting off the WCA and still get paid ESA.

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    Replies
    1. Wow..so those of us "sorry" people running businesses that only make a few thousand pounds are the problem? Seriously?

      No words.

      Delete
  33. "Reforming" the benefits system is not the same as "destroying" it. Saying they are reforming it is another lie.

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  34. David Cameron lied outright to Parliament when he first made the emphatic claim of 'a million net new jobs' in the private sector, when he couldn't fail to be aware - because the ONS had put it in big black letters all down the side of the stats - that almost 200k of them were merely reclassified from the public sector to the private. He even repeated the lie 4 times, for effect.

    See

    http://skwalker1964.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/latest-ons-employment-stats-spin-gender-and-camerons-bare-faced-lie/

    for more.

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