I am delighted to see that Sir Andrew Dilnot, chair of the UK Statistics Authority, has written to Sheila Gilmore MP in response to her complaint to the authority over the Work Capability Assessment statistics.
This follows a great deal of intensive research in to the figures on the ilegal/mylegal forums to which Sheila Gilmore’s attention has been drawn and which she has acknowledged. Her unstinting challenge of the DWP in her role on the Parliamentary select committee over the dreaded Employment & Support Allowance along with many other increasingly alarming elements of welfare reform are to be applauded.
And here follows Dilnot’s reply, to view it all use this link…..
In my view we are only scratching the surface with a much deeper failing in these statistics which has yet to emerge. What particularly galls me is how the media as well as government and its ministers have continually based all their (mis) reporting on the back of figures which it is becoming more and more obvious were flawed from the outset. The error which emerges in this instance is one where the DWP are effectively concealing their own ‘overturns’ within a set of statistics which have been misrepresented as ones subject to ‘initial assessment’.
The effect of this is (1) to hide the true initial results and (2) to keep from the public the true number of decisions which the DWP considers to be erroneous at the initial stage.
My bigger concern is what these figures hide; the true number of claimants who have appealed. Figures from Her Majesties Tribunals, Courts and Tribunals Service confirm that over 1 million Employment & Support Allowance appeals have been lodged with Tribunals, many more will be waiting for action at the DWP and no clear figures have yet been made available making it clear as to how many internal reconsiderations by the DWP have led to Work Capability Assessment results being overturned.
Our thanks as ever to Nick –a true hero
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