Over 235,000 signatures yet DWP won’t release benefit-related death figures

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Campaigner changes tactic and urges public to write to MPs to pressure government 

7th July 2015 by Robert Armour 66 Comments

A mass campaign is underway, urging the public to write to their MPs demanding the release of figures into benefit-related deaths.

Over 236,000 people have now signed a Change.org petition demanding the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) release the details.

But now the original petitioner is urging those backing the campaign to start writing to their MPs in a bid to force the government’s hand on the issue.

Maggie Zolobajluk, who first posted the petition, believes the latest tactic is necessary to force the government’s hand on the issue.

The original petition was mounted after a freedom of information request for the figures to be released was rejected.

A complaint was then lodged with the Information Commissioner’s Office in England which ruled on 30 April that the DWP should disclose data that would show the number of benefits claimants who had died after being found fit to work.

The government is still trying to avoid publishing this data.

The body gave the DWP 35 days to make the information public, but the department appealed the decision.

Many now believe the government will embark on a series of appeals and stalling tactics in a bid to deliberately derail the data’s release.

Zolobajluk believes the figures will expose the extent of the government's welfare reform agenda, showing that, since its introduction, many claimants have been driven to an early death because they have either been forced off benefits, into work when they are still unfit or had their cash drastically cut. 

She said: “The past few weeks have been a whirlwind. 

"First Iain Duncan Smith said they (the DWP) could not publish these figures and accused us of scaremongering.

"Then David Cameron said that they would be published. But this was swiftly followed by the government saying that they were appealing against the Information Commissioner’s ruling that they should be published, saying that this data would lead to “probable misinterpretations” and “was too emotive and wasn’t in the public interest.

“So the government is still trying to avoid publishing this data.

“We must keep campaigning.”

A spokesperson for the DWP confimred it had appealed to the information commissioner against the release of the data. 

8th July 2015 by Jo

Have they forgotten that they are our SERVANTS? They are there to serve US not themselves!!!!!

8th July 2015 by Stephen Driver

Come on I.D.S and D.W.P! You both need to know the general public of this country aren't dumb.. In fact, you're insulting our intelligence!!! You're hiding the evidence of cases that have been common knowledge to us all, through media and word of mouth. You are NOT our judge and Jury and you WILL produce the evidence eventually. It's not a question of "if" but "when", because what you have allowed to happen is nothing less than criminal.

14th July 2015 by Dave Foreman

Kick this scum out of office and don't let the Tories in power again, Ex-Tory supporter.

14th July 2015 by Mark

Already emailed my MP last week. He seemed to be pussyfooting around a bit, but I think it was difficult for him to assess the implications one way or another.IDS thinks he can do anything he likes. The trouble is the rest of the government let him get away with it! I really detest that evil, uncaring, heartless b*st**d.I also agree with Jo below...they seem to overlook they're supposed to work for us; unfortunately too many of us forget that and let them get away with it.

14th July 2015 by Gary Robertson

Pathetic,

14th July 2015 by stephanie ward

If they would just accept realities of their cuts. Bad form :(

14th July 2015 by Judy Harris

This is typical of an uncaring Tory government and IDS who should hang his head in shame.He married into money and knows nothing of the ordinary man.

14th July 2015 by Brendan Carroll

Psychopathic bullies go to any lengths to protect themselves against exposure, and cannot face the consequences of their actions. They fail to recognise what the real effects of their actions are because they do not have feelings, or the capacity for empathy. Most senior Tories fit this category. IDS is a prime example.

14th July 2015 by Don

The truth will out and when it does it will cause uproar, that's why pond life like Duncan smith wants to hide these figures.

14th July 2015 by Richard LeHodge

Iain Duncan Smith, probably the last human one would think suitable for the position of overseer of DWP. A thoroughly mean and uncaring person.

14th July 2015 by donald king

I have a Conservative MP, so what's the bloody point?

14th July 2015 by John Smith

I have an excellent MP but Labour so what is the point! If your MP is Tory then surely it is worth canvassing them?!

14th July 2015 by paul liptrot

My MP is helping us and is backing our campaign she is writing to that psychotic failure to release the figures and own up to his crimes. We will have our day

14th July 2015 by Mike M

I wrote to my MP Sarah Wolaston and she just agreed with IDS that it would be irresponsible to publish the figures? I'm totally dismayed at her response, just another political reply full of nothing as usual!

14th July 2015 by Clive Williams

There must be a some one some where in DWP who could slap these murderous geezer tory twerps around the face with the true document showing the fellow voters of britain what really is going on in a country run by the media owners and their close but even dodgier mates the Cameron Cabinet!

14th July 2015 by balearic funk

they are murderers. this is horrific,that are trying to hide this. they are not fir to run this country or anything else. god forgive the bastards who voted them back in. i can not.

14th July 2015 by JAHENDRA

a public meeting near duncan house, we appeal to human rights act we complain to united nation to comply govt to declare -sort of genocide, we also inform to eec body of all european countries to bring in pressure on criminal cameron to comply--without prejudice,all money making with atos criminal bastard get 500 pounds for eACH CASH REJECTED,I M VICTIM WITH PROOF.

14th July 2015 by susan craig

Perhaps it is time for an "estimate" of those deaths to become a news phenomenon. If the real figures are thought to be "X" multiply this by 10, add a few thousand and claim that this figure "10X + 3000" is the "real" number of those killed by IDS (policies) If this figure becomes widespread maybe, just maybe, IDS will need to disprove it

14th July 2015 by Jason

These figures are totally in the public interest and should be released... This Government is disgusting.

14th July 2015 by Madcap

These Tories are right b..t...s! My Tory MP is a fine example, sending threatening letters, insulting people who are only asking a question, can't stand the fact that people can have a different opinion from his. Pure evil!

14th July 2015 by JAHENDRA

a public meeting near duncan house, we appeal to human rights act we complain to united nation to comply govt to declare -sort of genocide, we also inform to EEC to bring in pressure on criminal PRIME MINISTER to comply--without prejudice,all money making with criminal atos--who got 500 pounds reward for each case rejected

14th July 2015 by JAHENDRA

we have to file a case with human rights---its a sort of genocide, we ask united nation to bring pressure on uk to release figure, we can go to head of eec TO BRING PRESSURE ON UK WE MARCH N PROTEST AT ASSHOLE DIMWIT CRIMINAL DUNCAN ASSHOLE SAMIT

14th July 2015 by William cochrane

Ifth

14th July 2015 by William cochrane

If these murdering tory bastards have nothing to hide then why are they appealing the comishoner ruling

14th July 2015 by Sonia broughton

Every one knows concervative only look after the rich let them live on benefits for one week they would soon make it a liva ble amount bring back labour

14th July 2015 by Julie Pollard

I wrote to my MP by email over a week ago and have not had the decency of a reply as yet. Am I surprised? Not at all, why should he reply, the government have no respect for the normal electorate they are treating people claiming benefits like dirt on the bottom of their shoes.

14th July 2015 by David Lavery

The Nazis tried to hide their crimes as well , its a disgrace that evil man is trying to hide the extent of his crimes against the disabled, what he's done amounts to genocide I wish he could be brought to account for what he's done to helpless people who couldn't fight back.

14th July 2015 by simon briggs

This is wrong this should not happen

14th July 2015 by David

It is not just that they refuse to publish the figures but that they LIE to Parliament where Iain Smith denied the figures existed, this despite the fact that the DWP confirmed to the ICO that the figures existedThen we have the leaked internal memo that says they do not want to publish the figures because the public might get the wrong impression!!!We might misinterpret the data?What an insult to the DEADhttp://i.imgur.com/bPdeuUf.pngThey say here that they want to massage the figures into some sort of report.Man if that is the benchmark for telling the public the TRUTH where would we be.29 of 30 OBS targets missed: "let's not publish the figures the public might get the wrong impression"Perhaps all figures should be massaged because the public will not like themhttp://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/benefit-cuts-deaths-revealed-how-5939071

14th July 2015 by Alan Stewart

Duncan-Smith, a man who has compulsively lied about his education and academic credentials, failed as a party leader and thrust his fists in the air in celebration when the Chancellor announced cuts to the disabled during the budget. Let's not just call for the release of these figures but also call for his resignation on the basis he's a disgusting individual and proven liar

14th July 2015 by Nic

Its important these figures are released especially now the goverment is reducing tax credit s a nd adding additional pressure on the poorest - why isn't the main stream media highlighting this deception?

14th July 2015 by Disabled Dave

The UK is being investigated by the UN for crimes against the disabled over the "fit to work" tests and the resulting damage: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/08/28/un-dwp-benefits-disabled-human-rights-probe_n_5727580.html Shortened link to the above: http://bitly.com/1tNzlEWSo why hasn't this been in the news other than this Huffington Post article? Clearly censorship is at work, so forward that link to everybody you know, post it on your Facebook page, get it out there; that should cause enough of a stink to get the figures published.

14th July 2015 by Glen Pyburn

Has the Tory government forgotten what happened when the British public eventually decided it had had enough of the Poll Tax?

14th July 2015 by Cherry

If they had nothing to hide, they would have released the figures. Their action speaks for itself.

14th July 2015 by Rachel Johnson

This is not surprising, it's a massive cover up like many of the awful things this government are doing. Only the rich will thrive under a Conservative government, t'was ever thus. By cutting people's benefits they make the poor population smaller and the rich take over. How about introducing a bedroom tax for all the mansions out there??

14th July 2015 by Peter Robinson

Surely no one is surprised by government reaction to this petition. It seems to be endemic in this 'I'm alright Jack' attitude that claims to be one government, poppycock. How can MP's from privileged backgrounds and having no inkling how the common people struggle to survive consider their plight. Just a simple question that requires an answer, Perhaps like the awaited (and challenging) information regarding benefits the silence is deafening.

14th July 2015 by Keith Baillie

Could you please remove the photograph of that vile covert man as I nearly threw up my dinner.Bad form !, Ian Duncan Smith.

14th July 2015 by John Robertson

Have you everwhitnesed just how horriffic these assessments are?? Have you evere been in a crytical Ill position have you suffered terminall or menatal health issues?Are you aware the devastating effect theses horrendious assesments are.People like myself would sooner be DEAD than suffer and struggle daily then the added stress and extreme anxciety this adds to an already bad situation.I have seriously attemted suicide severeal times and still feel that way often.Have you ever felt that low that death feels like a better option!!!

14th July 2015 by Rosie

I am on ESA. My life completely changed when I found out about my illness, and what it had in store me. I have been in pain everyday for 3 years now, some days are worse than others. The government show no empathy towards genuine people with genuine issues. I am 20 years of age, I am volunteering in a local shop just to show I am not work shy, I just need help finding a job that will work with my illness. I am training to be a nail technician and in the future a hairdresser. I try just as hard as anyone, yet I get treated like dirt. My advisor is great, but they just have no clue how hard life is for someone in my position and others like me. Come on DWP, tell us the figures because I know I have felt like ending it all because of you.

14th July 2015 by Michael

I emailed my MP David Tredinnick over a week or so ago and I have had no response AT ALL.I hope some other people get some responses. This is too important to let them get away with it. Truly disgusting people.

14th July 2015 by Hilary

The more they try to stop the figures being published the more it certain it seems that the government are trying to hide something that reflects badly on them. It can only get worse for IDS and the government. People are not going to let them get away with stalling and blocking - publish and let the public make their minds up! You can run but you can't hide!!!

14th July 2015 by Tony G

In the government's own words, the deaths are "too emotive" to reflect well on the DWP and details would show that their policy "wasn’t in the public interest"

14th July 2015 by Tony G

In their own words, the statistics on death would be "too emotive" to reflect well on the DWP, and the policy itself "wasn’t in the public interest".

14th July 2015 by Tony G

The death statistics "were too emotive" to reflect well on the DWP and the policy itself "wasn’t in the public interest". They said it themselves.

14th July 2015 by Jim Clarke

IDS would not give a toss even if 6 million people signed the petition. He is a hard hearted bastard, and will only be stopped by a bullet--nothing else. The sooner everyone realise that they will NOT be listened to--the better.

14th July 2015 by Rachel

If people moved there selfs and got a job instead of depending on benefits they wouldn't die the government are to soft example I've got a bad back I'm to ill to work here you go here's high dla you don't have to work I'm sorry but I don't agree with how this system works I think they should cut there money to low rate and only give it to people who are really sick like people with cancer and other diseases who need real medical attention

14th July 2015 by tim voelcker

You talk about open government, but reject the Information Commissioner's ruling. You talk about passing decision-making down the line, but seek to allow central government to overrule local views on local planning. Will you have the courage tomorrow on a free vote to reject the government's devious attempt to emasculate the Hunting Act passed only a few years ago?

14th July 2015 by Richard Shillam

I fully support this campaign and have written to my MP, Mary Creagh, Wakefield, but have, surprise, surprise, receive no response. Democracy in action once again in good old GB, what!?

15th July 2015 by Phil Lee

When they do release the figures, they know full well that our own legal system will have to sit up and take notice, and that those responsible will end up in jail. The sustained assault on the vulnerable conducted by the Tory party amounts to mass murder, as they knew full well what the results would be when they started it. They are already subject to the first ever investigation of a government by the United Nations for systematic human rights abuses, and the International Criminal Court has already been asked to start proceedings (not that you'll read any of that news in the millionaire club owned press, or the BBC who are too scared of their effective paymasters). We know the numbers are in the tens of thousands, and that the guilty parties are of sufficient number to wipe out the Tory majority (it's at least arguable that any who support the Tory party are co-conspirators in this mass murder, so the party itself could be forced to disband as a known terror organisation). Shame on the Police and CPS (probably "only following orders" as if that is any defence) for not having already brought the guilty to justice. There is easily enough evidence to get a search warrant to obtain the necessary figures from the DWP, as it is clear evidence of multiple crimes.

15th July 2015 by David Johnson

When the public had the opportunity to vote this lot out they didn't do it. Trouble was, Labour offered no real opposition with their pathetic leader (a wasted five years) and let this horrible lot back in power. Ian ducking the issue Smith, is a disgrace to society and should be placed in stocks and pelted with rotten fruit! It is irresponsible not to publish these figures and more pressure is needed to get them released. Shame on the lot of them and they do have much blood on their hands.

15th July 2015 by JON

SOMEBODY SHOULD JUST TAKE OUT A PRIVATE PROSECUTION AGAINST THIS LESSER LITTLE MAN. AS A RESULT OF MOTU PROPRIO A PAPEL EDICT RELEASED IN 2013, HE NO LONGER ENJOYS THE PROTECTION OF STATE, CHURCH OR OFFICE.

15th July 2015 by Clare Collins

The public have a right to know. These cuts are in effect are in the public's name. It makes me feel ashamed.

15th July 2015 by Peter Clark

Why are we #1 on the Gobal Open Data Index? http://index.okfn.org/place/

15th July 2015 by Robert Booth

If we do not act now there will be many similar incidents where the bedroom tax or independance allowance etc. will reek havoc on vulnerable people!

15th July 2015 by Robert Booth

The likes of Sinclair and Gove remind me of the worst characters from the French revolution!

17th July 2015 by carol moran

Dr.Death ..you will go down in history of killing off the ill Your Family will be proud.

17th July 2015 by carol moran

Dr. Death..You will go down in history for all these deaths

19th July 2015 by Allan Templeton

`too emotive and wasn’t in the public interest`Oy! Tory boy! What the heck do you think this Petition has been started for? `WE` (The Public) are `VERY` emotive over this issue, and we `ARE VERY` interested in the `Death` figures,so what have you Tories got to hide/fear, its so obvious `SMITH` and the DWP have `PLENTY` to hide regarding these horrific death figures, `WE` THE PUBLIC DEMAND THESE DEATH LIST FIGURES BE RELEASED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, AND WITHOUT FALSIFICATION!!!!

19th July 2015 by Allan Templeton

` and “was too emotive and wasn’t in the public interest`OH REALLY! BUT IT IS!!!

19th July 2015 by John Walsh

This is of no surprise. The government is planning to review the 'freedom of information act' in the near future so to allow the authorities to withold any information that is deemed NOT IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST. This is why they are stalling the release of the info requested. Oh well, there goes another act of Parliament, just when I thought things were improving. I don't know why they just don't turn communist. Save us all the hassle. They really are a bunch of idiots

19th July 2015 by Nobby Clark

Here are 2 E mails I have sent to Simon Burns MP for Chelmsford. I have received no reply to date.Yahoo! Mail. To .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Jul 15 at 7:39 PM I take it I D S is your hero is he? Your party disgusts me.https://www.facebook.com/pages/Iain-Duncan-Smith-Should-Stand-Trial-For-Manslaughter/802331216509778E ClarkYahoo! Mail. To .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Jul 17 at 4:50 PM I think you may have missed the point of my last E to you. I do expect a reply. I would be interested to hear how you defend the despicable actions of your brother MP, I D S and the way he is trying to kill off many people who are claiming ESA by using a corrupt American company Maximus to do his dirty work for him? It clearly states in the video that the whole aim of the WCA is to force people off the ESA and back onto JSA where they could then be penalised for not being able to gain work.I trust that you received the 3,800 + signatures on the petition that was hand delivered to your offices in Chelmsford on Tuesday 14th of July. Many people would like to hear your response to this too? E Clark

20th July 2015 by Simon Alvani

Even if the figures are eventually disclosed, how accurate can we expect them to be? How many benefit sanction related deaths will be filed under "other causes"?

22nd July 2015 by Alan Hearn

They're not the NASTY party - it's spelt with a Z not an S, an I not a Y, & there's one too many letters in nasty!

22nd August 2015 by Sarge

Who will tell these eedgits the cut need to at the top, NHS, DWP, BBC, and so on.......cull the fat cats! There are hundreds of thousands of them just wasting space, time and resources.There is no room for incompetence, greed and peacocks. Kick them out!..........

23rd April 2019 by Al

Pressure the government? That means a government elected by the people do not want to listen to what people say and need to be pressured? I think politics need to be pushed to a different level by using something that politicians are not accustomed to yet.

23rd April 2019 by Al

DWP must submit this report under freedom of information act.