There is “a clear and direct link between universal credit and starvation”, with food bank referral rates more than double the national average in areas where there has been a full UC roll-out.
The suspicion will mount that DWP and its ministers took deliberate steps to cover up evidence of the fatal impact of the assessment on sick and disabled people.
DWP should reconsider its decision to offer only a partial backpayment of the money owed to 70,000 disabled people who for years were not receiving the correct level of out-of-work benefits.
Disabled campaigners are relaunching the WOW Campaign in a bid to secure a debate in the House of Commons on the need for the government to assess the financial damage caused to disabled people through its cuts and reforms.
Although sanctioning non-disabled unemployed people does push them into work sooner, those jobs are of lower quality and there are a whole lot of damaging effects on health, family relationships, debt and so on.
It is only under the “work-limiting disabled” definition that the number of disabled people in employment rose, from 2,839,000 to 2,885,000.
DWP decision-makers are frequently deciding ESA claims based on “unacceptable” reports instead of sending them back to Maximus assessors to “rework”.
These are difficult questions to answer because we lack high-quality data about the extent & nature of disability in Australia.