With a sense of deja-vu, I just read Esther McVey’sassurances to Dame Anne Begg, chair of the work and pensions committee, that the government had consulted sick and disabled people over the design of PIP and taken their views into account.
Those of us who were involved in any way with the unprecedented success of the Spartacus Report know they are untrue as we comprehensively proved it nearly a year ago.
The government did not challenge any of the key claims we made in the report and so attacked it as “partial”. They claimed that as we had only analysed the group responses to the consultation, the findings were skewed. However, they refused to publish the other 5,000 individual responses to prove that they were telling the truth.
2,500 were template letters, most of which came from us, so we knew that they were all likely to be in some way critical of the policy. After months of raising awareness of the consultation online, we were fairly confident that most of the remaining 2,500 were sent in by our own supporters or would otherwise be critical of PIP.
This blog details the extraordinary events on the day before our own amendment calling for a pause to PiP went before the Lords. Lord Freud is forced to send a rebuttal of Spartacus Report to every peer. We almost immediately challenge the rebuttal publicly in a joint post on both my blog and Kaliya Franklin’s.
Finally, the government had to promise to publish the remaining submissions to prove they weren’t lying.
They said that they would publish them in chunks over the coming year, as there were so many.
So, as I read Ms McVey tell the very same lies, I thought some of you might like to look into whether or not the DWP kept their promise, and if not, will they be doing so before 9th January next year?
Finally, if they haven’t released the responses or they have and they prove what we know they will – that the Department of Work and Pensions lied about them being less critical of PIP than the group responses – on which date would they like us to send the letter to every MP and Peer confirming that the entire case for PIP is dishonest?
Any of you who fancy doing a little investigating while I’m stuck in hospital why not use the comment thread to share what you find out with others and take the appropriate steps based on what you find out. Ie phoning DWP press office to ask why they haven’t been released or maybe FOIing the responses again with a link to the original FOI promising to release the 5000 responses.
I can’t find links very easily from hospital, so you’ll have to find the posts I’m referring to yourselves (they were January).
I think it’s worth doing though. This is one deadline we need to keep :
Date in Diary – The day we blow the case for PiP apart