Responding to the UK Statistics Authority rebuking Grant Shapps over his use of disability benefit statistics, Edinburgh East MP and Work and Pensions Select Committee member Sheila Gilmore said:
The UK Statistics Authority has now confirmed that Grant Shapps and the Tory press deliberately misused statistics on disability benefits.
The Sunday Telegraph claimed that 900,000 people on Incapacity Benefit had dropped their claim rather than undergo a medical assessment for the new Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), implying that they were never really ill in the first place and had been playing the system. In reality the true figure was a mere 19,000.
This is part of a campaign by the Conservatives to undermine public trust in welfare. It allows them to prioritise cutting benefits ahead of taxing the richest in their attempts to reduce the deficit. That’s why in the same year that disabled people hit by the Bedroom Tax are having their weekly income slashed, 13,000 millionaires are getting a tax cut of £100,000.
To counter this I’ve been calling for the Work and Pensions Select Committee – of which I’m a member – to question DWP Ministers on this issue. This practice of deliberately misusing benefit statistics has to stop.
Notes to Editors:
- Original Telegraph article is here.
- Letter from UK Statistics Authority is here.
- See previous stories on this here, here and here.
- Sheila Gilmore is a member of the Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee. You can view the committee’s website here.
- For more information please contact Matt Brennan, Parliamentary Assistant to Sheila Gilmore MP, on 020 7219 7062, 07742 986 513 or firstname.lastname@example.org.