If there’s one thing we can learn from the release of statistics examining the deaths of sickness benefit claimants it’s that most journalists writing about social security haven’t got a fucking clue what they are talking about. Both The Guardian and The Daily Mail reported this week that 2,380 people died within two weeks of being found Fit For Work by the DWP when in truth these people could have died anytime up to two years after their assessments.
The reason for this blunder – and that seems the wrong word given the subject matter, negligence might be better – is simply because they misunderstood the DWP’s garbled explanantion of how they collect data for statistical purposes.
Two statistical reports were reluctantly released by the government yesterday and both are equally confusing – and no doubt deliberately so. The first is a report on the death rates of people on…
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