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Gilmore forces DWP to publish full ESA figures

This news post is over 8 years old
 

UK Statistics Authority pledges to publish full figures for work capability assessments

An Edinburgh MP has been given a commitment that further statistics on incorrect work capability assessments will be published.

Sheila Gilmore, MP for Edinburgh East and member of the work and pensions select committee, has welcomed a letter from the UK Statistics Authority pledging a commitment to publish this data before the end of the year.

It emerged last year the proportion of incorrect decisions could be a lot higher, as figures on the outcomes of informal appeals were not being published.

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) provides support for people who cannot work due to a health condition or disability.

Entitlement is determined by the controversial work capability assessments.

Once we know definitively how many decisions the test is getting wrong, the case for reforming it will be significantly strengthened

Current statistics show that, since it replaced Incapacity Benefit in 2008, one in 10 claimants who are declared fit for work successfully appeal this decision and are awarded ESA.

However it is suspected official figures could show a significantly higher success rate - meaning far more people are being wrongly assessed.

Gilmore said: "Until recently we thought that the assessment was getting about one in 10 fit for work decisions wrong – far too many in most people’s eyes – but since it emerged that the Government were withholding key figures, the reality could be much worse."

She added: "Once we know definitively how many decisions the test is getting wrong, the case for reforming it will be significantly strengthened."

 

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