Tragic loss of Philippa Day reinforces urgent need for an independent inquiry into benefit deaths

10 May 2021

Deputy CEO, Brian Dow, reacts to the calls for an independent inquiry into benefits deaths after the tragic loss of Philippa Day:

“The welfare system is meant to help us through hard times and to support people living with mental illness. But for many people the benefits system is a cause of extreme distress, not support. Philippa Day, 27, tragically died by suicide. The coroner recorded the Department for Work and Pensions' (DWP) failure to consider her mental health problems was the "predominant factor" in her death.

She and her family are still being failed by the government's refusal to set up an independent inquiry into benefit related deaths. Our Stop Benefit Deaths campaign is calling for a process that gives justice to families and allows lessons to be learnt, so that we can build a benefits system that is far more compassionate for the people it is there to support. On an issue as important as this, the DWP should not be marking its own homework. There needs to be transparency and there needs to be change."