Crippen highlights the anger being expressed after watchdog appears to back away from inquiry into DWP deaths

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) confirmed that it will be using its powers to address the “systemic barriers” facing disabled claimants in the benefits system. Sounds good …

However, it appears that even if it did carry this work out, the commission appears to be edging away from demands for it to hold a full inquiry into the links between the Department of Works and Pensions (DWP) and the deaths of countless benefit claimants over the last decade.

The commission refused to provide any details or offer further clarity about the work it will be doing on the barriers within the benefit system, despite requests from Disability News Service (DNS) and other campaigners.

Linda Burnip, co-founder of Disabled People Against Cuts, said: “This is typical of EHRC unfortunately and they seem to ignore even policies and behaviours of government departments that lead to the unnecessary deaths of disabled people. It really is time for EHRC to start doing their jobs effectively.”

Labour’s Debbie Abrahams has been trying to persuade the EHRC to hold an inquiry into deaths linked to DWP for the last two years, following years of campaigning on the issue in parliament.

She told DNS: “Whilst I support the EHRC’s broad objective – who wouldn’t? – it doesn’t address the issues I have raised with them about the deaths of disabled social security claimants.”

John McArdle, co-founder of Black Triangle, said the EHRC’s apparent decision to back away from an inquiry into the links between DWP and the deaths of claimants was a “disgrace”.

He said disabled activists had spent 11 years “campaigning for justice for the victims, families, friends and communities of those who have passed tragically – and completely avoidably – as a direct result of this government’s barbaric work capability assessment and personal independence payment disability assessment regimes. What we demand is a truly independent, judge-led public inquiry.”

Description of cartoon for those using screen reading software

Two people from the Equality and Human Rights Commission are standing in a field and wearing large blinkers on their heads. Out of their view are two large hills upon which are numerous white crosses. A sign in front says ‘benefit claimant deaths’. An empty box with blinkers printed upon it lies at their feet and one of them is holding a large piece of paper with EHRC enquiry printed upon it. One of them is also saying: “We see no deaths!”

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by A6er on 15/05/2021 at 10:52

    Reblogged this on Tory Britain! .

    Reply

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