MPs re­quest data of those who died af­ter ben­e­fits stopped

North Wales Weekly News - - NEWS -

THE num­ber of peo­ple in North Wales who died within weeks of their ben­e­fits be­ing stopped must be pub­lished, MPs have de­manded.

Three of the re­gion’s MPs have signed an early day mo­tion call­ing on the UK Gov­ern­ment to re­lease data which they say should have been made public over a month ago.

Around 10,600 peo­ple who had been re­ceiv­ing ben­e­fits died be­tween Jan­uary and Novem­ber 2011, ac­cord­ing to fig­ures re­leased by the Depart­ment of Work and Pen­sions in 2012.

But de­spite a 230,000-strong pe­ti­tion call­ing for up­dated fig­ures and the In­for­ma­tion Com­mis­sion in­sist­ing the data must be pub­lished by June, it is yet to be placed in the public do­main.

Plaid MP for Dwyfor Meiri­on­nydd Liz Sav­ille Roberts, Ar­fon MP Hy­wel Wil­liams, and Alyn and Dee­side MP Mark Tami have all signed an early day mo­tion for the in­for­ma­tion to be re­leased.

Re­cently elected MP Ms Sav­ille Roberts has writ­ten to the DWP Sec­re­tary Iain Dun­can Smith call­ing for the im­me­di­ate pub­li­ca­tion of the fig­ures for all Welsh con­stituen­cies.

She said: “To sug­gest that re­leas­ing these fig­ures isn’t in the public’s in­ter­est is a de­spi­ca­ble at­tempt at brush­ing the is­sue un­der the car­pet.

“The public and, more im­por­tantly, the fam­i­lies of those af­fected have a right to an­swers and full dis­clo­sure of the facts.”

The par­lia­men­tary early day mo­tion has so far been signed by 94 cross party MPs, in­clud­ing all three Plaid MPs and 32 mem­bers of the SNP.

Ms Sav­ille Roberts said: “Peo­ple in my Dwyfor Meiri­on­nydd con­stituency want an­swers to le­git­i­mate ques­tions. I will be press­ing the Gov­ern­ment to make public these fig­ures so that they’re read­ily avail­able for scru­tiny.”

A DWP spokesman said: “The Gov­ern­ment in­tends to pub­lish the sta­tis­tics, but be­fore do­ing so they need to meet the high stan­dards ex­pected by the UK Sta­tis­tics Au­thor­ity.”

Liz Sav­ille Roberts

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