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Cruel Valentine’s PR stunt by DWP backfires badly

This news post is over 6 years old
 

Backlash over hugely insensitive tweet

Social media users have criticised a “cruel” PR stunt by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) after it tweeted a message warning couples not to “ruin Valentine’s Day by failing to declare your true circumstances”.

“Claiming to be living alone is one of the most common types of benefit fraud – don’t ruin Valentine’s Day by failing to declare your true circumstances”, the tweet read.

The Twitter page, from the DWP’s press office, added: “Declaring your true love tomorrow? Don’t forget to declare your true living arrangements too.

“Don’t get separated from your Valentine. Tell us of a change now.”

https://twitter.com/dwppressoffice/status/963423779413114880?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

SNP MP Alison Thewliss was first to react with: “Apparently there is no celebration that @DWP won’t try to ruin…”

Then she tweeted: “Taking this opportunity also to point out that families with children from previous relationships will lose their child tax credits/UC entitlement by coming together in a new r’ship.

“Or if there are 2 children from a previous r’ship and want to have a 3rd in new r’ship.”

Another Twitter user said: “How about making someone's Valentine's day by making sure you pay all of the unclaimed benefits to which people are entitled. It's the thought that counts.”

https://twitter.com/Tweetsfromross/status/963457149585231872?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
https://twitter.com/SNPsoosie/status/963475951609962497?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Twitter user September Rising said: “What an awful disgusting message, but I suppose when so many people have died waiting on benefits or having them removed, a false love message fits well with your horrendous department.”

The DWP has been asked to respond.