100 signatures reached
To: Esther McVey
Stop anonymous tip offs to the DWP
We’re calling on the government to stop anonymous tip offs to the DWP. Most of the tip offs received are incorrect allegations and cause a massive detrimental effect on the mental and physical health of the person accused, especially to those who are already disabled/chronically ill.
Why is this important?
Over the year 2016-2017 nearly 174,000 allegations were closed and 149,450 (86%) of tip offs were incorrect allegations.
Over the financial years 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 332,850 cases were closed following reports by members of the public (of benefit fraud). Of these 287,950 were found to have no or little evidence to substantiate the claim (87%)
We need to stop the culture of hunting out benefit fraud, as most of the time the allegations are incorrect. Going through this process has a detrimental effect on disabled and chronically ill people’s mental and physical health.
We believe that if the public are to remain involved in reporting on alleged benefit fraud then they should not be allowed to do this anonymously and should have to give at least their name and national insurance number. This will help to make people think about their actions before picking up the phone, will help to reduce bogus allegations, and will make improvements to this culture of thinking people on benefits are scrounges and that disabled/chronically ill people are faking (when in fact they are probably faking being well most of the time).
If someone is found to be a serial malicious reporter then they should be fined and banned from giving tip offs again.
The general public have a slim view and understanding of what disability/chronic illness ‘looks like’ resulting in more reports of benefit fraud and disabled/chronically ill people being scared to leave the house for fear they’ll be reported increasing isolation in communities and fears that your neighbour is spying on your every move.
Let’s stop feeding this narrative. Please help us make some positive changes to the benefits system.
Together we rise!
Faye Dempsey, Ellie Hicks, Alison Morton