Author Topic: Sheila Gilmore's letter to Mike Penning on the subject of lies and statistics  (Read 730 times)

lankou

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Sheila Gilmore MP
 Edinburgh East Constituency

House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA | 020 7219 7062
sheila.gilmore.mp@parliament.uk | http://www.sheilagilmore.co.uk
03 July 2014

Mike Penning
Minister of State
Department for Work and Pensions
Caxton House
Tothill Street
London
SW1A 9DA Our Ref: MB/GILM02002/02140914

Dear Mike

During a DWP Select Committee evidence session on 10 June 2014 you were asked
how many people were currently awaiting an assessment for Employment and
Support Allowance and you answered just over 700,000.

At DWP Questions on 23 June 2014 you said:

When the coalition Government came to office, the WCA backlog did not
suddenly happen; the problem already existed. However, we take
responsibility for what we are doing. [Interruption.] There is no point in Labour
Members’ shouting us down. They have short memories, but their backlog
existed. If they do not wish to admit that, perhaps we can see the documents,
which will enable us to know the facts. We have carried out 1 million
incapacity benefit assessments, and 700,000 people are currently being
helped into work or are looking for work.

I believe that the total number of people awaiting an assessment at the point at
which the previous Labour Government left office and the current Coalition
Government began can be calculated using your department’s Employment and
Support Allowance: Outcomes of Work Capability Assessments publication, the most
recent edition of which was published in June 2014 and  contains data up to
September 2013.

The specific figure is arrived at by taking the total caseload and subtracting both the
total number of people either declared Fit for Work or awarded ESA and the total
number of claims closed before assessment for both new claims and repeat
assessments, and adding these two figures together. This shows that 28,300
claimants were awaiting an assessment up to May 2010.

By including the reassessment of Incapacity Benefit claimants, this same calculation
shows that 543,400 people were waiting for an assessment up to September 2013 –
nearly twenty times as many. From your answer at the Select Committee, it would
appear this has figure has increased further since.

I have enclosed spreadsheets with the relevant data for your benefit.
 I would be grateful if you could confirm that the methodology I have used is correct. If
it is I think it would be appropriate for you to acknowledge – at the next available
opportunity in the House of Commons – that the number of people awaiting an
assessment was relatively small when the previous Labour Government left office,
and has increased dramatically during the Coalition Government’s time in power

auntieCtheM

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Lankou, you are on mighty good form at  the moment.  >applause<

SunshineMeadows (on Sabbactical)

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When did reassessments for Incapacity benefit stop?

I know that Employment and Support Allowance started for new claims in 2008.

I dont understand how the figures in the letter work so need some help with it.

lankou

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When did reassessments for Incapacity benefit stop?


That haven't stopped yet, there are still a few thousand on IB yet to be reassessed for ESA.

SunshineMeadows (on Sabbactical)

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I read it as saying there were still assessments for Incapacity Benefit ie the assessment was not for ESA but IB.

I will come back to this thread in the morning.

lankou

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I read it as saying there were still assessments for Incapacity Benefit

There aren't. They stopped when ESA came in back in 2008.