The DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) have once again been found to have covered up data from a forced transition pilot which took place in Harrogate.
Not only have they tried to hide this information from the public they’ve also hidden the details from MPs.
In a report by Benefits and Work it has been revealed that there is evidence of the DWP covering up not only the details of the forced pilot which took place in Harrogate, but also details of their incompetence.
This relates to the forced transition from legacy benefits to UC (Universal Credit). The social security advisory committee (SSAC) has been reported saying to MPs that there is a need for external scrutiny of the worrying process this month.
Steve McCabe MP for Birmingham Selly Oak has disclosed that copies of the Harrogate forced transition pilot report on the Harrogate pilot has been placed in the House of Commons library, after being entirely redacted with the exception of the words ‘Moved to Universal Credit’ and ‘User research’.
The total redaction tells us one thing, the DWP doesn’t want to let MPs know the details of the pilot and what happened. It goes without saying that they don’t want the public to know these details either.
MP Steve McCabe also gave details concerning a constituent who was left in a very bad both physically and mentally leaving the constituent in distress. The DWP reported that she failed to respond correctly to a migration notice despite already being told that she didn’t have a computer at home.
He went on to say that she attempted to phone the DWP but could’t find anyone to speak to. She also sent a letter by recorded delivery at her expense which the department ‘thought’ that they didn’t receive it. This left her without any payments for many weeks.
Benefits and Work went on to report that Charlotte Pickles, a member of SSAC (Social Security Advisory Committee), told MPs that the SSAC believed that some kind of external scrutiny of the ‘scary’ migration process is needed which will then supposedly give people forced to transition confidence that the process will be fair.
She went on to say ‘we are all very aware that for some groups, in particular, UC is quite a scary proposition. If you are sitting on a legacy benefit or you are a tax credit claimant, you possibly, likely, in certain groups, are very nervous and possibly reluctant to make that move to UC.”
After all who can blame them. The DWP are concealing important details not only from MPs but the public as well. The evidence from the Harrogate trial should be provided in an open and transparent way and any failings dealt with before expanding forced migration to Universal Credit.
Concealing evidence such as this will result in a failure of responsibility from the DWP and will undoubtably result in suffering and distress for those forced to move to Universal Credit.
At the time of writing the DWP are still hiding these details and I can’t see them doing so either.
Please read and share this report, its essential that we continue to get information like this out in the public domain. A huge thank you to everyone that already does or has done this.
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