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The commons work and pensions committee has confirmed it is going ahead with its plan to obtain a copy of a secret disability benefits report and publish it.

Regular readers will know that the DWP is fighting to keep secret a report entitled ‘The uses of health and disability benefits’ which deals in part with the unmet needs of benefits claimants.

The work and pensions committee had given the DWP a deadline of 11 January to publish the report themselves.

However, on 10 January the committee received yet another blunt refusal from Therese Coffey, secretary of state for work and pensions:

“As I have written to the Committee before and re-stated at the Committee hearing last month, my Department is currently considering a range of policy options, drawing on wide evidence, research and analysis, and protecting a private space for policy development is important. I have no intention to publish this research at present.”

The committee have now written to the authors of the report, NatCen, ordering it to provide a copy of the report to the committee by Thursday 27 January, for publication.

Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP, Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, said:

“After repeated obstruction from the Secretary of State to keep from public view a piece of work that falls within the Government’s own protocol for publication, we have reached the end of the road. We would have much rather the DWP had done the right thing and published the report itself, so it is with regret that we must now take the highly unusual step of using our parliamentary powers to obtain a copy from NatCen and publish it ourselves. We have been forced to do this to ensure that the reality of disabled people’s experiences of the benefits system can see the light of day.”

However, the DWP has admitted that the report was altered before publication and a whistle blower has said that this was in order to reduce the number of references to claimants’ unmet needs. The final report is, therefore, unlikely to fully reflect the reality of disabled people’s experiences of the benefits system.

Benefits and Work is continuing with our Freedom of Information request for a copy of the unaltered report.

You can read the full account from the work and pensions committee on the parliament website.

Comments  

#3 MrFibro 2022-01-17 21:08
Very few out there gives a toss about us disabled people of Britain.
#2 Susie27 2022-01-17 17:37
I noticed that the opposition asked about this during last week's PMQs. The PM confirmed that the findings would be published. However, we all know how cavalier this particular individual can be with the truth.....Still , it will be recorded in Hansards.
As B&W, DNS and others have already said, if the DWP don't even want to publish the watered-down content, goodness knows what the original must have looked like!

I really wish the general public realized just how challenging it is for those of who have no opinion but to apply for benefits. I wonder if people think that producing a "fit note" or consultant's letter all but guarantees an award? Every time I need to re-apply, my health takes a nose-dive, and it is becoming more difficult, over time, to get over the stress. :sad:

Thank you B&W, keep doing what you're doing.
#1 naheegan 2022-01-16 03:13
Under this, and previous governments, the reality of disabled people’s experiences of the benefits system has never and will never see the light of day.
The breadth of cover-up, misdirection, obfuscation, and sleight of hand never ceases to amaze.
Thank goodness for Benefits and Work, who have stood up for disabled people and made accessible information to help them navigate this very confusing and often unfair system.
I do hope that Benefits and Work is able to obtain an unaltered copy of the original report. I would very much like to read it, despite having a very good idea of what's in it.

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