The DWP’s latest insult to disabled people is disgusting

The DWP logo and a man holding his head
Support us and go ad-free

On 7 August, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) insulted millions of disabled people. It issued a tweet that totally ignored nine years of Conservative-led cruelty, benefit cuts, and a situation for disabled people in this country that’s so bad, the UN called it a “human catastrophe”.


“Stop killing people and harming so many more!”

No matter what the DWP says, some disabled people simply can’t work. And the situation for those people is terrifying. They face constant assessments, humiliation and financial destitution from benefit cuts. Too many disabled people, meanwhile, are now dead as a result of DWP actions.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

As The Canary has reported for some time, the government’s flawed and controversial Work Capability Assessment (WCA) and ongoing welfare cuts have left thousands of disabled people in financial crisis. Tragically, others have died after being declared ‘fit for work‘. Government records show that, between 2011 and 2014 alone, 2,380 people died after being declared fit for work. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Indeed, the situation is so bad that Labour MP Debbie Abrahams has called for a full investigation into DWP-related deaths and asked that any evidence of wrongdoing be handed to the police.

So the DWP’s tweet, quite rightly, caused outrage:

Others, meanwhile, pointed to the shocking news of Victoria Smith’s death. Capita, one of the private outsourcing companies used by the DWP, stopped Smith’s Personal Independence Payments (PIP) despite medical evidence. She died weeks later. Capita has since tried to block a successful legal challenge from Smith’s mother.

“human catastrophe”

In 2017, the UN described the situation in the UK as a “human catastrophe” due to “grave” and “systematic” violations of disabled people’s human rights under successive Conservative-led governments.

As a disabled rights group noted, the UN also established that:

  • 62% of people that the DWP sanctions live with mental health issues.
  • 10,600 people died after their benefit claims ended.
  • 90 people a month are dying after the DWP declares them ‘fit-for-work’.
  • 590 people have taken their own life due, in part, to DWP fit-for-work tests.

Minister for disabled people Justin Tomlinson quite rightly explained that there are “nearly seven million working age adults” in the UK who’re also disabled. And for some, the government’s Access to Work scheme may indeed be a huge help. But he completely ignored the brutal reality for those people under this Conservative government. Perhaps this should come as no surprise since his voting record shows he’s consistently voted to cut benefits for disabled people. Yet Tomlinson claimed that this scheme is life-changing:

The support worker budget awarded through Access to Work means Ross now makes a living, owns a home, goes on holidays and lives life on his own terms.

It’s not clear what reality Tomlinson lives in, but it’s certainly not the same one that most disabled people in the UK live in.

Featured image via pixabay and Wikimedia – UK Government

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us
  • Show Comments
    1. The Tory Government is skinning all Social Services and the NHS and Council Budgets because it has to Buy 310 Billion Pounds worth of US Treasury Bonds each year, to support American Debt. Thats 310 Billion Pounds thats Not making UK Ciotizen`s life better. They only spend 1 Billion on the NHS.

    2. The Tories turned to quacks and quackery to deny disability benefits, particularly PIP. A century ago people with some medical training who faked it as doctors were called quacks and their practise quackery, and now these quacks overrule the diagnoses of qualified doctors who said people had medical problems.

      They won’t let qualified doctors anywhere near this denial-of-benefits process, so it’s can’t be medicine.

    3. The DWP’s latest insult to disabled people is disgusting
      GOOD POINT-Commenter—–foghornleghorn
      If this waste of our public cash is going on now
      will it stop? when we leave E.U. or will this bill,
      go up to us U.K. taxpayer to pay for Tory Govt bills only on the C**p W/BILL made up by D.U.P. party plus Ms May C**p Minister that failed to deliver anything for us residents + voter in U.K. or Northern Ireland /Wales/Scotland as well.
      So, what will we all suffer under Tory rule now?
      If a new G.E. is not held in NOV 2019.
      I am asking all Tory party members here???
      1- N.H.S. sold off to U.S. + China firms
      2- Then our N.H.S. not free to use (will need medical insurance)
      3- No more Northern powerhouse C**p
      4- Our total transport needs to link all area of U.K. going down the toilet.
      5- Our capability to police our water on fishing + terror attacks come from E.U.
      6- More and more child poverty plus people killing themselves over not getting the help they need plus getting the Tory Govt SCAM U-CREDIT payment they are entitled to.
      7- Tory Govt looking after the rich party funder for cash payments to party with new Tax breaks laws plus new changes to pension pots so they benefit ONLY.
      This is just 7 things going on now that will get out of hand.
      if Tory Govt keep in power voters.
      Therefore, I believe it time for a new Govt in Parliament WHO I here you ask well that is up to all U.K. voter Not me personally.
      Just so you understand me I am a free voter No party ties to any Govt party be them in power or out of power I vote to make changes on voting days any time in G.E. ,Byelection, Local are Cllr election (I also pay No fees to any party)
      I do also seek over member to help” out in election time up and down the country including Northern Ireland/ Wales/Scotland/ not just in U.K. area.

    4. I’ve been waiting since January 2019 to go to court as the dwp think they are aloud to withheld my pip and not even keeping me updated on a court date. I had a text in March saying we will message you by the 15th may 2019, and nothing else has happened. Despite me asking over and over again, my claim gos back to January 2017 and have been fighting over every step and for every penny, when will the dwp or government sort it out what about our human rights? I find it very funny that people in prison are better looked after than disabled people and our ex-servicemen and women saying its about the human rights so if you can give everything to the people that are in prison how rob steals drink/drugs drives murder and many other crimes because of human rights then why the hell does this country not give a crap about ex servicemen and women and disabled people sort it out dwp before you kill anymore people

    5. My message to the Government is this. Look around you and see what you have created. A population living in poverty, living in fear, looking towards a future with no job security, no home and no hope. You are now seeing the results. They are going to get worse, much worse.

    Leave a Reply

    Join the conversation

    Please read our comment moderation policy here.