MPs request data of those who died after benefits stopped
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