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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Government hiding the facts on work capability assessments

The Independent reports that Ministers have been accused of wasting taxpayers’ cash in a legal fight to “suppress” the results of fitness-to-work tests, to protect the “commercial interests” of private firms.

They say that the Information Commissioner ordered the release of the information about controversial Work Capability Assessments (WCAs), which have been repeatedly attacked as cruel and unfair:.

It would reveal the monthly performance details from each testing centre used to decide if people are sick or disabled enough to receive benefits.

But the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is now appealing the watchdog’s ruling to a legal tribunal, dragging out the case until at least November.

The paper says that MPs have protested about people with serious health conditions – including cancer patients awaiting operations and a stroke victim in hospital – being judged fit-to-work and being stripped of benefits.

However, the DWP is bizarrely insisting the information – dating all the way back to 2011 - must be kept under wraps “as it covers commercial interests”. They must not be allowed to get away with this. Democratic accountability should mean that this information is made public.
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