Sunday Mirror

Give us transparen­cy not secrecy

- BY DR CHINA MILLS, LEADER OF DEATHS BY BENEFITS PROJECT

INTERNAL Process Reviews are supposed to be tools through which the DWP investigat­es the harms of its own policies, including those that lead to people’s deaths.

Yet they are designed and carried out in ways that prevent the Government being held to account. It is devastatin­g families often don’t know an IPR has been carried out into the death of a loved one, and never even get to see the report. Given that IPR recommenda­tions could likely prevent future deaths, we need transparen­cy and accountabi­lity, not secrecy.

What is known about IPRs and the DWP’s responses to the deaths of benefits claimants is largely the result of disabled people’s campaignin­g and resistance.

The job of holding the DWP to account shouldn’t fall to those most harmed by its policies. IPRs likely represent only a small proportion of deaths linked to welfare reform, even though the number of reviews has risen so sharply in the last few years.

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