Iain Duncan Smith used false statistics to justify disability benefit cuts

15 May 2014

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have repeatedly made false claims about the numbers of people living on disability benefits, according to the official statistics watchdog.

Ministers at the DWP repeatedly claimed that the majority of people on disability living allowance (DLA) were given benefits for life without any supporting medical evidence. For example press releases sent out by the department stated that: “more than 50 per cent of decisions on entitlement are made on the basis of the claim form alone, without any additional corroborating medical evidence.”

However, the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA) found that the actual proportion of claims passed without supporting medical evidence was just 10 per cent.

In addition, the DWP claimed that “under the current system of DLA, 71 per cent of claimants get indefinite awards without systematic reassessments.” However the UKSAfound that in the last two years of the DLA, between 23 and 24 per cent of claimants were given indefinite awards.

The DWP have accepted that their claims were “ambiguous” and “had not been rechecked by the Department’s analysts as is the usual practice.”