DWP must release hidden reports on harms of the benefits system

15 August 2022

It was reported on Sunday that the Department for Work and Pensions is refusing to publish a series of official reports on the benefits system, including internal investigations on deaths linked to the system and a report on the impact of sanctions.

Mark Winstanley, Chief Executive of Rethink Mental Illness, said:

“Too often, the benefits system harms rather than helps those who are too unwell to work and need financial support to survive, including many people severely affected by mental illness. In refusing to release reports on deaths linked to the benefits system the DWP adds profound insult to deep pain. This culture of secrecy within the DWP, building walls around itself to keep out public scrutiny, means it is impossible to be sure that lessons are being learned to make meaningful improvements and safeguard against the system harming vulnerable people in future. Out of common decency to people who have suffered or continue to suffer under the weight of a punitive benefits system the DWP should urgently release these files. The true extent of the harm caused by the system can then be assessed. Transparency is vital if the DWP wishes to build a more compassionate system that works for all.”