Benefit Bullshitting Exposed By Daily Mail’s Workshy Map

daily-mail-mapYesterday’s Daily Mail Workshy map blows apart the benefit bullshitting of  the right wing press, despite their best efforts to smear hundred of thousands of sick and disabled people as criminals.

The map is based on recent figures detailing the outcomes of Incapacity Benefit re-assessments.  This is the crude computer based test carried out by IT firm Atos which has been used to strip vital benefits from hundreds of thousands of people.  This system has been justified by a relentless propaganda campaign which evoked myths of millions of scroungers, families where three generations have never had a job and whole areas of the UK ‘blighted’ by benefits culture.

In fact digging into the figures simply reveals that even in unemployment hotspots, the number of people who have been assessed as unable to work is tiny.  According to the Mail, 2,570 people in Leeds were found ‘fit for work’.  Leeds has a population of almost three quarters of a million people.  This means around one person in every three hundred was claiming a sickness or disability that they are no longer entitled to.  Even on a large housing estate this represents just a handful of people.  This number will rise as Incapacity Benefit re-assessments are not yet complete, but the figures suggest at the very most one person in 150 will eventually lose the benefit*.

And in truth most of those people are far from ‘fit for work’.  Employment Minister Mark Hoban recently revealed that 15% of ‘fit for work’ decisions are eventually judged to be incorrect – and that only includes those claimants with the tenacity, confidence, and health to successfully undertake an appeal.  Even those who do not have decisions over-turned at appeal may be anything but ‘fit for work’.  People with Multiple Sclerosis, cancer, Parkinson’s Disease and many other serious health conditions have all been judged able to work by Atos and the DWP.

The Daily Mail’s claim that all those found ‘fit for work’ are workshy is as contemptible in itself as it is dishonest. It is worth remembering that everybody who was previously claiming Incapacity Benefit had previously been signed off work by their own doctor and undergone a DWP medical.  Unless both GPs and the DWP’s own doctors have been lying on a massive scale, then none of these people could be considered to be in good health.

This is reflected in what little evidence is available (PDF) detailing what happens to those found ‘fit for work’, which shows that most people end up on the dole.  And it is this which shatters yet another myth about welfare reform – which is that this is about saving tax payers money.

Claimants thrown onto the dole lose around £30 a week and but this means a significant administration burden for already over-stretched Jobcentres.  This comes on top of the cost of the Atos assessments and the ever growing number of appeals – along with considerable hidden costs such as an increase on the burdens on GPs, hospital consultants and advice agencies.  This stress of these assessments alone has driven some claimants to suicide, whilst many more people have reported their health has deteriorated due to the system.

It is now a terrifying time in the UK to be both poor and in poor health.  It is not just those currently on benefits who will be affected, but anyone who falls ill or becomes disabled and has to leave their job.  And for what?  To make a fraction of a percentage of people lose around £30 a week because they are no longer quite as ill or disabled as this Government now insists they must be to qualify for health related benefits.  Rarely has such a nasty policy been carried out by any Government for such trivial ends.

*It is unclear how far through the assessment process different cities are.  As the assessments are just over half complete then the Daily Mail’s workshy map actually means nothing at all, except for demonstrating the revealing fact that no-one at the paper seems to know where Manchester is.

A ‘not fit for work’ map has been created by @Mylegalforum and published on DPAC’s website.

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67 responses to “Benefit Bullshitting Exposed By Daily Mail’s Workshy Map

  1. Landless Peasant

    Before long there will also be thousands of people diagnosed with Malnutrition as many cannot afford to eat (myself included), then what? Prescription food on the NHS?

    • Uly Oneandthirty

      What NHS?

    • Our rulers would be quite content to let all of us useless eaters starve to death. They wouldn’t have a problem with that at all. In fact, they would consider masses of unemployed people suffering from malnutrition as a good thing that would further “discipline” the remaining workforce. People will be willing to put up with more hours, worse conditions and less money to avoid the excruciating alternative.

      • r33…all makes for a “willing” workforce in…”jobs fight club” and you should have looked after your health, then you would not get sick…see it’s your own fault really..we told you so…!
        if you had worked hard, you could afford to pay for health care, as we intend you should…gp…says “not fit for work” what do they know…atos rgn’s know best…
        new reconsideration before appeal with no benefits, welfare groups say this is fair! coz it means DM has all info..but,
        according to gp’s they always have had this info before reconsiderations…..uc incentives work…coz people get even less money… plunged deeper into debt poverty…as “mistakes” increase…

        symptoms, no! they are all in your head…we don’t do symptoms any more…”cured” by denial, just nip down to your local pharmacy, they are sure to have symptom masks…you don’t want to end up like them…you know it makes sense, coz we tell you it does! food “eat cake”…
        work hard…then get fed…skara brea

  2. thank you, i have MS and can get very tired after physical activity, but i did not fight the stopping of my ESA even though i planed to go back on JSA when i knew what i had, and i live in bournemouth. I want to work PT in most jobs, but full time in some, namely ones based around my passion for 3d design, but it is a bloody joke trying to get into the industry even though i have ideas that would made the shard look dated, but i do not work how to let the companies know and I am completely self taught in how to work 3ds max.

    • I have the same problem, I ran/managed an art company for 12 years I have learnt almost the entire Adobe Master-suite and spent two years looking for a decent job after I left the one I was in, all I got was shit jobs with underhand payment. And all the business owners just want to pay underhand. I had to fight just to get my NI paid in and tax as well. How long can this system of haves and have-nots keep going ?
      We know all politicians just spout lies and people think because its on the news its real.

    • bob its great to see you back with us, was going to put out search posters for you, Murray assured us all on friday, that you had gone on holiday to Trinidad. LOL!

  3. The Daily Heil’s geography is as bad as their journalism. Check out ther locations of Sandwell, Manchester and Stoke on a real map.

  4. that map is wrong its got Manchester south of Liverpool so I would dispute the aggregation counts for the towns as well. As usual more then just a lie its also attempting to redefine geography as we know it

  5. Colin Wilson

    The Mail have a nerve calling anyone out over fraud, when they “base” themselves in a tax haven, so they pay sod all to the UK taxpayer on sales made here.

  6. atos…has no true role at all…their role is spurious….so is their role intended to undermine public service? disenfranchise people still further….

  7. “except for demonstrating the revealing fact that no-one at the paper seems to know where Manchester is.” This would be hilarious if so many people werent suffering so much

  8. well i see on my map l/pool is roughly where it ought to be…

  9. 31.570 people declared fit for work through out the UK these figures are down to IT ATOS wel as a IT firm do they mean 31.570 mb? these idiots are are NOT licenced Doctors and nurse’s are only trained basic needs to deal with patients within a hospital wards?
    IDS needs to be sacked out of Government with the rest etoniants pratts? and ATOS should be sent packing back to france and to dish out their crap assessments there? about 8 yrs ago the DWP use to send their desk jockeys out to various hospitals so as would go on doctors round of what to look for in how assess a patients illness or disablitiy affected them and it appears that ATOS are doing the same? and it is time that BMA / BMC stepped in to check their licence to practise here in the UK?

  10. The heroic author of the DWP/ESA blog, which I note is no longer being updated as of Mar 2013 gives a template as to how one can legally resist this assault. This man’s story though grim is an inspirational legacy for those who can use it both hopefully on their own behalf or on behalf of their friends.

  11. The mainstream media and politicians (left and right) are all corrupt and it’s time the public looked for alternatives

  12. Pingback: Welfare stories this week

  13. Gwyn Kemp-Philp

    Poor geography is cold comfort to disabled people who will not need to know any when their transport is taken from them.
    Having run the ATOS assault course and still been accepted as disabled indefinitely, I feel I can now wear it as a badge of pride.
    Except I didn’t want it! I’d rather be able-bodied.and a nobody.

  14. Pingback: Benefit Bullshitting Exposed By Daily Mail’s Workshy Map

  15. Now they have an ingenious new plan to cut back on claims by forcing online claimants to use browsers that are obsolete and no longer obtainable:

    http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2265744/government-forces-benefits-claimants-to-use-windows-xp-and-ie6

  16. Luckily for me Im on windows xp now,but Im probably older than the system anyway!!!

    • Nothing wrong with WIndows XP! It is a fine operating system :-) I designed it myself :-) Nothing like conning the punters into buying the same operating system over and over again to keep the $$$$ rolling in :-)

      Sent from my Windows XP computer :-)

  17. See my FoI request on whatdotheyknow website entitled “prosecution of fraud” where I asked why they weren’t prosecuting people migrating from IB to ESA (after all they’re quick enough to prosecute tax credit claimany
    ts aren’t they) and more to the point why they weren’t taking any action against the claimaints GP/NHS specialist who stated that they were NOT fit for work!

  18. chewie

    Good to have you back, nice bit of posting on the billion pound welfare reform fraud – see I do give credit where it’s due, but that’s no fun we have to have something to fight about.

  19. G Millward

    That’s right give them ideas to prosecute people that are not fraudulent ,but have been told they are in order to reduce the welfare bill.
    It’s about time they procured money from the bankers, tax evaders and businessmen that are relying on tax credits to pay their wage bill, before they even think about prosecuting anyone relying on benefits of any kind.

    • Look

      They are wealth creators

      That means they create wealth for themselves and us

    • Exactly Mr Fawkes, that’s the point I’m trying to make. If they really, really did believe that people were not entitled to IB surely they would prosecute… but they won’t do that will they, no, because the burden of proof is on them to show that is the case and of course if they did that the full scale what is really going on would be shown.

  20. Government

    Tell that to the low paid. wealth is something the rich acquire on the backs of the poor.

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  22. This is the daily fail for you – never lets the truth stand in the way of a good “scrounger” story & they should invest in a map.

  23. Annos

    I will try to get hold of one or two of Paul Craig Roberts books, the last book I read on these lines was “the delusions of global capitalism” by John Gray, about 15 years ago, that was an enlightening book.

  24. PS The John Gray Book was FALSE DAWN the delusions of global capitalism.

    • Try W/p Blog run by Lars P Syll, a Professor from Sweden if you are interested in alternatives to marketeer zealot orthodoxy. Some of it’s v v wonkish but he warns you if it is. There is (and there always was) an alternative.

  25. Jonathan Wilson

    I do think its encouraging that the “best rated” seem to think this type of reporting is pure bullshit and know that the ATOS is a joke that doesn’t perform real medical assessments and makes a huge number of mistakes.
    If the DM reader knows the above, why the fuck do they still vote cons when its proven that they lie, misrepresent the facts, and spend billions on systems and methodologies that don’t work and are nothing more than an overhead cost. (even more so with atos now, as it contracts back the work to the NHS which means its not actually performing any task, just creaming the profit as a middle man and software provider.)

  26. frank begbie

    Pretty sure that its all about saving money; maybe not in the short term, but in the long term its bound to save billions over the years.
    But its also about cutting the welfare bill not to get the country back on its feet, (we can see that isn’t working), but to enable the rich pariahs to continue their selfish lifestyle.

  27. I wonder how many of them working at the Daily Snail are on claiming in-work benefits?

  28. off topic

    Labour has already promised to repeal the NHS Bill, build 125,000+ homes and regulate private rents, promote a Living Wage for public sector workers and shame the private sector into following that lead, offer a minimum 33-40% cut in tuition fees, limit rail fare increases to 1%, re-ompose the 50p rate of income tax for the super-rich, impose a mansion tax on the rich, repeat the bankers’ bonus tax, reverse the BEDROOM TAX , scrap Workfare and replace it with a ‘compulsory’ Hobs Guarantee, offer a VAT cut or a ‘temporary’ VAT holiday, implement the High Pay Commission report in its entirety, scrap Ofgem and bring in proper energy price regulation, break up the banks and set up a National Investment Bank, and support mining communities and clean coal technology. That’s quite a list, but it doesn’t cut the ice it should.

    http://www.michaelmeacher.info/weblog/2013/05/what-labour-needs-after-ukip/

    the above link was taken from this one http://mikesivier.wordpress.com/2013/05/04/whoever-said-labour-has-no-policies-prepare-to-be-embarrassed/

    • pat..even though this sounds achievable…perhaps even believable…what have all these major parties got in common…they want our votes…or they go under…judging by past performances…only actions speak louder than words…do you believe their words…as seen by their actions…i don’t…”we thought we could do it, it was an aspiration, but when we checked the books, things were worse much worse than we thought…same old, same old. promise they will do…or leave office…at once…call g,e. then i will believe them…not until then…THEY MUST PROMISE…before they get my vote…and it had better be good, what they promise…

      • A promise is a comfort to a fool.

        • r33 not if they promise….that is exactly that they put the fool in,head spin…
          i know that they do not mean one word of what they say….and never will…so where form here…always the question? even when the last gov..were’nt elected….all i can do is laugh at their comedy…new political party…toryukipnewlabourlibdemsfringerightwing…national democratic party

    • Doesn’t go anywhere near far enough for me. There would need to be a commitment to socialise both the railways and banks, (NOT nationalise, but to put them both in the hands of the workers in the case of the railways, and investors in the case of the banks). Most other industries should also be reorganised with a view to them being taken over by the workers. Benefits should be restored to their 1979 values, (which would mean that JSA would be around £130 a week) No work should be compulsory, and I’d personally like to see JSA become Unemployment Benefit once again, a right, not a privelige subject to conditionalitty. Any form of compulsion undermines worker’s rights, and puts downward pressure on wages. As far as taxation of the rich is concerned, anything over £100,000 a year should be subject to 100% tax – the rich may threaten to leave, which of course they have to be allowed to do, but they should under no circumstances be allowed to take their wealth with them – they only got wealthy on the backs of the poor,

      This may appear to be extreme, but it’s only under a system where the wealth creating sectors of the economy are under the control of those creating the wealth, i.e. the workers, is there any hope of creating the conditions of full employment. Our present system is totally bankrupt, full of overpaid and uneccessary levels of management and CEO types that cream off all the wealth created by the workers.

      Ultimately government itself should be abolished as a country full of workers used to running their own economic and social affairs on an everyday basis in their own localities would be more than capable of running the country without the dubious assistance of government which tends toward the corrupt, is hopelessly inefficient and costs a huge amount of money.

      OK, all the above is pie in the sky, as is what was Pat posted, but even those proposals, if they are genuine policy and not the usual guff politicians feed us in order to get voted in, are worthy of consideration, as they represent a vast improvement on what we’re getting at the moment.

      Starting a debate about what kind of society we want is a great starting point, as if we can imagine it, we can achieve it, indeed we have to imagine it before we even have a chance of achieving it.

  29. OBD, totally agree, my thoughts exactly.

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  31. Erm – your statistic is useless – you’ve linked the number reassessed and found fit to work with the total population of the area, without telling us how many people are on benefits, or what proportion of them have been reassessed – if only a small percentage of claimants have been reassessed, then this could be a very high proportion. or a very low one. we have no idea on the basis of the data you’ve given us. Pathetic.

  32. R33 et al. It’s a cop out to rail against Labour. Is there a realistic alternative given that this country is where it is. If you live in an area where Lab has a chance of winning what have you got to lose by voting ? Is there any potential party of Govt with even a notionally progressive agenda, in the absence of a PR electoral system (well done Lib Dems).
    If the Tories get in @ next elect and gerrymander we can look forward to Govt by Con /Ukip coalition 4 ever. This might inspire revolutionary revolt which would in turn give scum mentioned above a pretext for an internal “war on terror”. I’m trying not to preach and it sticks in my craw at the betrayal + criminality of the Blairites but I’m rejoining Lab party after 10yrs. Unfortunately where I live we have invisible (to his prole cönstituents at least) Tory Mark Field. No constituency surgeries but you can make an appt with him at the House of Commons ( lazy c!nt ).

    • @JohnDV

      The Tories couldn’t have gotten away with what they have done and are doing to the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in society, without the complicity of the Labour party. It is not a “cop out” to “rail” against their despicable betrayal. All Labour has to offer, is a little inadequate tinkering around the edges, but they won’t implement any policies that will benefit the working class if they are in conflict with the interests of their big business masters – “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other”.

  33. John DV

    Labour know there is no alternative but them but it was labour that gave gp’s a 24% increase on their salaries and less out of hours working while their patients are suffering withdrawal of benefits and facing tribunals.
    GP’s salaries all boost up the welfare bill and make it appear that it is those dole scroungers and sake fakers that are bumping up welfare costs,- it’s the greedy professionals, aided and abetted by greedy politicians.

  34. Should read sick fakers.

  35. talking party politics is so narrow negative and outdated as is the idea of party politics itself…END PARTY POLITICS! it is a disgrace and counter to democracy , individual representation, individual resposibility.Payment by results to politicians.Not by corrupt jobs for the boys lecture tours and book misdeals.Dont ever let them buy the family silver… even if it was there suggestion to sell it… infact PARTICULARLY! if it was there suggestion to sell it.Not just a tory idea.All the labour grandees did a great job of linning there own pockets,suggestions of corruption involving david blunket and co in sheffield land deals and contracts resulted in dismisals from the labour party without explanation.Torries well we do expect it from them… but there little cousins the liberal party are desperate for a bit of class anchorage now they have entered into the foyer of the banking empire which is politics in britain.Nigel farage well he started as a bankers skinhead in the loads of dosh 80,s waving it at coal miners style which was so popular with thatchers acolytes you know those foul heinious disgusting types we so resoundly disposed of along with thatcher and her nasty yorkshire bingbong bingham types…. errr oh yesss they are back……..again…. ooops..did they ever go away..??.all such disgusting toads… Hiding in the dogma of thier relative party political stance.

    Really END PARTY POLITICS!

    • And I so heartily agree. let each MP represent the best interests of the people that elected them, and have to answer to, Not some party officials that provided them with the vehicle for success in return for their obedience.

      From that beginning how could anything be be free from the taint of corruption when the souls of our representatives belong to their masters?

  36. I totally agree with zenfast and radio wales’s comments.

  37. well i may be mad mad… but i am mad N Nw… land is around ten thousand pounds an acre best… grade of loamy fertile arable land possibly £14000 still not very much to give a familly initial subsistence /independance…building control but no planning permission for single storey properties on your own acre… 55 million people 55 million acres…an acre each. landowners compensated..financially. right to buy an acre for those that want it,most people wouldnt bat an eyelid wouldnt move wouldnt change thier life in any way but for those who need it… what a life change an opportunity for a familly without opportunity for a thousand years…ohhh i beg your pardon… free schools ?? teaching WHAT?? prurient dogmatic crap… opportunity…?? what for the brightest to become loyal servants in the empire of capital,opportunity for the greediest to become the new face of murdoch led morality,or the opportunity to become middle class trapped in another tier of the capital cycle helping to further disenfranchise the poor and powerless .people are not born to serve money. or to serve anyone who has it .2.5 million people dont have jobs… and who controls that… there are more than 2.5 million people employed directly by government in one form or another… half the hours and pay and share the work and pay.with the unemployed. poverty ended and all the nasty servants, who administer these disgusting policies of the present fools,given more time to spend with thier families who must no doubt miss them.and less money which is what they deserve but still so much more than the undernourished underclass of britain. END PARTY POLITICS and LAND RIGHTS NOW!!!!!

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