UK statistics authority chair Andrew Dilnot has criticised work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith’s misleading claims on the impact of capping benefits. This is not the first time that he, and the department he heads, have been found to have misused statistics.
Disability Living Allowance is an “outdated benefit” for which “around 50 per cent of decisions are made on the basis of the claim form alone - without any additional corroborating medical evidence,” stated UK minister for disabled people Esther McVey on the BBC and elsewhere this morning (8 April 2013).
The government’s war of words against disabled and badly-off people continues unchecked. The latest slurs by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Prime Minister and the Minister for Disabled People suggest that UK politics has become a largely fact-free zone.
I have often been critical of the Church of England’s leadership for being slow to speak out on issues of economic justice. I’m therefore delighted that 43 CofE bishops have criticised the coalition for cutting benefits (or technically, for raising them by one percent, which is below the rate of inflation and therefore a cut in all but name).
Channel 4 television's respected 'Dispatches' series will carry a programme on Disability Living Allowance at 8pm tonight (Monday 25 February). It is entitled, perhaps rather sweepingly and unhelpfully, 'Britain on Benefits'. Nonetheless, it will be important viewing.