What makes absolutely no sense to me is how we in August 2008 had a figure of around 2.6 million on incapacity benefits; two months after followed the introduction of the toughest test of incapacity known to mankind with the implementation of the 'Work Capability Assessment'. For those of you who thin claiming these benefits is a walk in the park - why not take the test yourself and see how you get on?
A tough new test finding thousands 'fit for work' and yet here we are over four years later and the overall numbers claiming on the sick has barely fallen - it's still very close to the original 2.6 million. It's almost as though the figure never changes.
Yes there's been a reduction of sorts, but it's only by 38,140 fewer claimants when comparing August 2008 with February 2012 - a reduction of just 1.5% in the overall claimant count. The figures are marginally 'better' for May 2012 but it's nothing government can be proud of. You have to consider this in the overall context of an the incredible number of cases going through the ESA machine - a staggering 3.8 million. Over 2.7 million Work Capability Assessments have been conducted out of which which 1.2 million have been found fit for work; an additional 1 million never got as far as the assessment. You can see a much less wordy and more easily understood graphical illustration of the ESA system in operation here. Out of these 3.8 million cases just 0.6 million related to the original incapacity benefit claimants - in other words only 23% of the government's key target group have so far been brought in the reassessment equation.
What appears to be very clear is that the 'headline figures's so often quoted by the DWP have stemmed from assessing claimants and reassessing those who have claimed Employment & Support Allowance for the first time; they so often find themselves being reassessed on an almost continuous cycle. If you take these figures for what they really are the only logical conclusion is that the statistics generate large numbers being at some stage found 'fit for work'. If there was a permanent 'off flow' from the sickness benefit statistics you would almost certainly see the sick figures fall as the unemployment figures rise.
Instead government is claiming exactly the reverse; they say unemployment is coming down. This article will therefore look at whether the unemployment statistics really are falling; I suggest they are not....
Government's claim (1)
Unemployment is falling?
"Long-term unemployment has fallen to its lowest level for nearly a year"
The DWP Press Office on the 20th February 2013 announced that "Long-term unemployment has fallen to its lowest level for nearly a year" simultaneously with an announcement by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) that "unemployment was 2.5 million in October - December 2012; down 14,000 on July - September 2012. On the face of it the figures sound impressive. I think we should question the accuracy of these figures not just over the last year but ever since government first came to power in May 2010.
The purpose of this article is to take a serious statistical look at how government's welfare reforms are working when it comes to getting those on the sick back in to work. We will therefore be looking at how the figures relating to incapacity claims merge with those relating to unemployment - it is vital to start examining those who are said to be 'unemployed' and those said to be 'economically inactive'.
If the government via the DWP and Office of National Statistics has misconstrued those that by definition should be regarded as 'unemployed' then the overall unemployment statistics relating to the numbers said to be 'economically active' will be wrong. Equally, if the numbers said to be 'economically inactive' are incorrect the employment figures will be wrong. This article will include an excellent video prepared by the ONS which explains how the figures correlate with 'rates' and 'level's. For now all you need to understand is how the accuracy of the figures is very important in arriving at the right overall unemployment and employment numbers (arrived at by using percentages of 'rates' and 'levels' which will be covered in due course). Errors in the numbers or the the way the numbers are regarded will throw up not only problems with the DWP's quoting of statistics but also the way the Office of National statistics is promoting them.
The second logical question following that over doubts over the unemployment figures is therefore over the numbers said to be employed. This is where we will look at the the 'economically inactive' - an important factor when working out how many are in actually in work:
Let's look at how government is counting those it finds 'fit for work' which includes those who can do a limited amount of work despite their health problems:
Government's claim (2)
Getting more people who can work in to work?
'Nearly one in three people on incapacity benefits capable of work'
It's Dave's clear message to what he calls thousands of 'shirkers'....
In the following post you will see how government originally fuelled headlines that 75% of those on the sick were fit for work. Back in December 2010 government was behind damaging headline in the Sun newspaper which ran the title " BRITAIN's shirker's paradise shame with hordes of work shy benefit claimants was blamed last night for our economic mess".
In the DWP's most recent press release their claims have been substantially 'down graded' - it's still a sizeable proportion of claimants who are being found to be not entitled to claim on the grounds of incapacity. It therefore follows that they should be 'seeking work''
But are they?
The latest DWP press release on the incapacity benefit programme tells us that in fact only 180,000 are no longer eligible to claim their sickness benefits. the article goes on to say that only 603,000 have been tested - which by any standard is poor when considering that the incapacity benefit claimant count stood at 2,653,810 claimants in May 2010 (of which 527,120 were by then on Employment & Support Allowance)
However let's stick with what Government is saying about the thousands they are finding fit for work. Let us apply 'the third fit for work' to the 2,653,810 claimants 'on the sick' in May 2010. The actual figure is higher but using the one third figure highlights the point over the numbers who should be all accounts be ending up as unemployed....
A serious question arises over claims that unemployment is falling....
It's a simple sum really....
'2.6 million on the sick'
A third of which equals
>> 866,000 <<
all deemed 'fit for work'
Surely they would nearly all
end up here? ....
(A) They would no longer be deemed 'inactive' & would become 'unemployed'....
(B) 866,000 claimants found 'fit for work' will not walk straight in to a job
So do they claim Jobseeker's Allowance? ....
The figures speak for themselves....
Surely the Jobcentre would be the logical place for someone found fit for work? It's where the vast majority would end up after being thrown off their sickness benefits - Remember we are talking about an almighty high number of claimants, a minimum of 866,000.....
The Jobcentre queue would be miles long wouldn't it?
I would expect the figures down at the Jobcentre to swell massively; bear in mind I am using the lowest estimate figures for the incapacity group. The DWP applies a much higher (over 50%) 'fit for work' ratio in the other groups of claimants claiming the Employment & Support Allowance with no previous pre-existing incapacity claim. Using the lowest estimated numbers of those found for work (as I have already demonstrated) provides us with a figure of no less than 866,000 claimants. Those having long term 'out of work' histories are going to find it very difficult to convince employers that they are viable prospective employees in a highly competitive job market. Let's look at how the numbers claiming Jobseeker's Allowance in an analysis of the DWP claimant count....
Remember we are looking to place 866,000 'fit for work' claimants....
The fact is they don't turn in to Jobseeker's...
Difference between May 2010
and May 2012
So where have 866,000 claimants gone?
It's a massive number to go missing....
By all accounts they are no longer 'on the sick' and the JSA figures show they are not on the dole....
So where the heck have they gone?
How can the numbers on the sick seemingly come down without a substantial rise in the numbers claiming JSA? Perhaps the Conservatives have learned a lesson from the 90's and don't want to be caught out once again being accused of shuffling huge numbers of claimants between the sick and the dole - this is where Employment & Support Allowance actually comes in very 'handy' - as will Universal Credit in due course.
It's quite smart; if only it wasn't so deplorably cruel to the those who suffer...
We will go on and examine the DWP claimant count figures against the way the ONS measure unemployment with a particular emphasis on how they count the numbers of economically inactive people and count the long term sick.
In our next post I will explain where I believe thousands of claimants are being 'hidden from view'. We will be taking a closer look at the ONS figures which you can start to view here . In the next post I will explain why hiding statistics is so important when welfare reforms claim to reduce the numbers on the sick whilst reducing unemployment - it's not an easy claim for a government to make in times of extreme economic difficulty and lack of growth.
Post by nickd (Mylegal) on Mar 6, 2013 22:01:48 GMT
How Government wins you over on welfare
In this piece we look at how the government via its press office and close links to the media uses various tactics and strategies to put you 'off the scent' when it comes to taking a real good look at whether their welfare reforms are achieving what they tell you. Only the other week the DWP press office broke the news over 15,000 claimants rushing to claim the new Personal Independence Payment just months before it gets trialled in two parts of the country. The story broke on the same day when yet more adverse television coverage exposed the unfairness of withdrawing the current Disability Living Allowance. Both the Sun and Daily Mail promoted the story; what they didn't tell you was the statistics were months out of date & related to more than 10,000 pensioners and children! It was a deplorable piece of journalism; when challenged over the use of the statistics the DWP said it was up to the public to 'dig deep' and look for the detail hidden behind the sensationalist headlines!
Before moving on to the figures and looking for our missing 866,000 claimants ask yourself why the DWP go to such lengths to distort the figures why they work so hide at hiding the real ones....
Here's how they put you off the scent
They rely on the media convincing you that 3/4 of 2.6 million on the sick are completely 'fit for work' or on 'the fiddle'
They rely on you not questioning statistics
They do so by convincing you that welfare reform is all about those who work and pay their taxes
It's the government who's taking the tax payer for the real mug....
Just so long as they carry on believing the headlines rather than the real statistics
They'll never get how government is manipulating the sick
By pretending they're getting people back to work
Employment and Support Allowance and the government's reassessment programme has come in for a lot of attention with the harshness of the Work Capability Assessment being put under scrutiny. What many people don't realise how the allowance and those claiming it can be manipulated to alter both the employment and unemployment figures.
It's the 455,860 claimants in the 'assessment phase' and 360,190 in the 'Work Related Activity Group' which I'm interested in - a total of 816,050 claimants as of May 2012. What we need to look at is how these are classified by the Office of National Statistics.
In the next post we'll be looking at how the statistics are classified by the Office of National Statistics. It's no where near as easy as just counting those on the sick and those on the dole; none the less the claimant count is very important in formulating how the numbers are worked out. Beyond that it is how the Office of National Statistics regards the claimants which gets interesting, click on the following link to find out more....
Post by nickd (Mylegal) on Mar 6, 2013 22:05:29 GMT
Government says unemployment is falling
"Long term unemployment has fallen to its lowest level for nearly a year"
In this post we start to take a look at how unemployment and employment is actually counted by the Office of National Statistics (ONS). The ONS base their claims in part on the claimant count which they obtain from the DWP so it stands to reason that if the claimant count or the way it is regarded is wrong the overall statistics released by the ONS will also be wrong.
Don't forget we are still looking to place around 866,000 claimants found 'fit for work' and see where they end up in the ONS statistics.
On the 20th February 2012 the DWP Press Office proudly announced " Long term unemployment has fallen to its lowest level for nearly a year, according to figures released today". If any government can pull a statistical rabbit out of the hat it is our number bending coalition. Somehow they're never phased by damning statistics but on this occasion I think they've come unstuck; very unstuck.
Here's how the Office of National Statistics (ONS) back up the DWP.....
The ONS makes (amongst others) the following claim on unemployment....
For October to December 2012:
The unemployment rate was 7.8% of the economically active population, down 0.1 percentage points on July to September 2012 and down 0.6 on a year earlier. There were 2.50 million unemployed people, down 14,000 on July to September 2012 and down 156,000 on a year earlier.
Well I guess you can't get better than the ONS, they're the guys you can trust on statistics; so on the face of it Government appears to be doing better than expected. By any measure this has to be good news wouldn't you agree?
Hmm, I'm not so sure....
Here's an explanatory video from the ONS; try and stay awake whilst you listen & learn....
Did you catch the "2.5 million over 16 were out of work but seeking and available to work"?
Did you also notice the reference to "1.54 million aged 18 and over on Jobseeker's Allowance"?
So we've got quite a disparity between the claimant count and the unemployment figure used by the ONS. A difference of around million is one heck of a disparity I'd say!
It has to be said I'm more than a little suspicious, I think this warrants a cast of mylegal eye over these discrepancies....
It seems I'm not alone in casting a degree of scorn over these figures, have a read of an excellent piece by Declan Gaffney over how successive government's consistently claim to achieve record numbers in employment; it's the 139th such claim to have been made it seems; the increase is more directly related to factors such as a higher population and people working to an older age.
But my concern remains firmly focussed on those who are said to be 'unemployed' and the 'economically inactive'.
In the first instance you need to consider how the ONS measure 'unemployment' and in the second you need to consider how the ONS regard the 'claimant count'. If you thought that measuring the rate of unemployment was as easy as counting everyone on Jobseeker's Allowance ('the dole') you would be wrong - very wrong.
Here's matey from the ONS again....
In the above video our man from the ONS explains the way employment and unemployment is worked out at using 'rates' & 'levels'.
I think a difference of one million between the JSA claimant count and the numbers said to be 'unemployed' warrants closer scrutiny, I also want to take a look at whether all those who are to all intents in purposes 'unemployed' are in fact being counted as such rather than simply cast into the wilderness as what the ONS term 'economically inactive' note in particular how the ONS refer to how there were 2.03 million people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive due to long-term sickness,down 14,000 from July to September and down 87,000 from a year earlier. "
Before we go any further I want you to have a think about how some of the government fuelled tabloid headlines are now starting to do government some serious self harm. You know headlines like this....
You see I happen to think that the introduction of the Employment & Support Allowance turns a lot of government's statistics firmly on their head because you can no longer view it in the same way as we used to look at incapacity benefit where you were simply either 'fit for work' (and therefore unemployed if not in work) or unfit for work (therefore being economically inactive).
My overarching questions are these:
Are 455,860 Employment & Support Allowance claimants (as per the DWP's latest figures released in May 2012) who appear in the 'Assessment Phase' being correctly placed in the ONS statistics in either the 'unemployed' or 'economically inactive' figures? - I am mindful that a fair percentage of these will be appealing against 'fit for work' decisions but will still be appearing in the DWP's 'Work Capability Assessment' statistics as 'fit for work' until their appeal is finally decided.
Are the 360,190 claimants who have been placed (again as of May 2012 by the DWP) in the Employment & Support Allowance 'Work Related Activity Group' being regarded as 'unemployed' or 'economically inactive' by the ONS? - see clarification from the ONS below.
How are the ONS able to provide figures for December 2012 which are based on the DWP's claimant count when the DWP's data is only dated up to May 2012 (some 7 months before the ONS release)?
Here we have the ONS clarification:
Feb 28 ONS @statisticsons @mylegalforum Anyone out of work, disabled or not, who is both available to work and is actively seeking work is unemployed, not inactive.
Now, given this definition I think it fair to apply the 'unemployed' definition to those in the 'Work Related Activity Group' because claimants in this group as part of the conditionality of Employment & Support Allowance must make themselves available for work and should actively seek it (regardless of their disability). after all they have been found capable of doing some work. So now we need to dig deep in to the ONS statistics and see if the numbers tally with 360,190 being 'unemployed' as opposed to being 'economically inactive'. Remember the ONS definition does not mean you have to claim Jobseeker's Allowance to be counted as unemployed but it is a factor in the way it is worked out.
Post by nickd (Mylegal) on Mar 9, 2013 19:27:36 GMT
Let the number crunching begin!
Combining the different sets of DWP figures and looking at how they are considered by the Office of National Statistics...
In the following chart we have a mass of data from both the ONS and the DWP. The column on the left relating to the ONS is their measurement of the DWP's claimant count figures for those on Jobseeker's Allowance. You will note that it is slightly different to the figures from the DWP but there's nothing particularly strange about that which is of any concern in this analysis; the data may come to the ONS at a different time from when the DWP release their own figures.
I've chosen to look at the time frame before the Employment & Support Allowance was introduced in October 2008 so I've used August 2008 as a starting point - it's when only the previous range of incapacity benefits were in existence (Incapacity Benefit, Income Support claimed on the grounds of incapacity and the Severe Disablement Allowance)
You will also see that claimant's on Jobseeker's Allowance have been added in to the second from the left column (these are the actual DWP statistics), then as well as the incapacity benefits we have on the second from the right column the Employment & Support Allowance (which although counted separately to the other incapacity benefits is still regarded as an 'incapacity benefit').
In the far right column we have the combined totals of JSA, IB/IS/SDA, and ESA (the ONS figures is excluded as it is more or less a duplication of the DWP's claimant count in the 'JSA' column).
In the bottom row 'differences' I have compared in each column the claimant counts figures between August 2008 and May 2012 (the latest DWP released data). You will note from August 2008 to May 2012 the ONS figures show the JSA count has risen by 673.200, the DWP's JSA figure is up by 615.340, incapacity benefit claims are down by 1,202.320 (1.20 million), whereas Employment & Support Allowance has risen by 1,134.290 (1.13 million). The cumulative effect is that over the period the overall claimant count has increased by 547.310 (over half a million).
The cumulative increase from August 2008 to May 2010 under the Labour government was (+) 507,700.
The cumulative increase from August 2010 to May 2012 under the coalition government was (+)51,780 but remember that from May 2011 the coalition had commenced a mass programme of reassessing all incapacity claimants which saw the incapacity claimant count reduce from 1,946.200 in May 2011 to 1,429.680 in August 2012 (a reduction of 516,520) this being offset by the numbers claiming Employment & Support Allowance which increased from 662.230 in May 2011 to 1,134.290 in May 2012 (an increase of 472,060). A look at the JSA figures (DWP) show they stood at 1,438.670 in May 2011 and had increased to 1,484.070 by May 2012 (an increase of 45,400).
What this shows is the mass reassessment of ib/ESA claimants is fairly remote from any increases or decreases in the numbers claiming Jobseeker's Allowance. I remain mindful that as of May 2011 there remains a massive 455,860 claimants still in the assessment phase for their Employment & Support Allowance You can view the figures here.Bear in mind how these claimants have yet to be classified as 'unemployed' or 'economically inactive'.
Before any coalition advocates claim any kind of victory on these figures I would say to 'dig a little deeper' into what the ONS make of them and go on and read the following post which illustrates the number of unemployment claimants right the way back to 1979. It would also perhaps pay people to look at how the figures relate to prior to when the dreaded Employment & Support Allowance was introduced.
I am also mindful that the ONS for October - December 2012 are showing a figure of 2,026,000 claimants as 'long term' and economically inactive; I find this strange given that the DWP's figures are only dated to May 2012.
Using the ONS May 2012 'long term sick' figure for January 2012 to March 2012 provides us with a figure of 2,124,000 claimants which I have compared against the ib figure for February 2012 (1,589.640) and the ESA figure also for February 2012 (991.190). The combined ib/ESA figure is 2,580,830 - (a variance of 456,830 with the ONS figure)
The ONS would probably put it down to the numbers being only 'long - term sick' claimants to which I'd question where the 456,830 short term claimants are in the ONS table 13 for economic activity & inactivity?
I'd also wonder whether around the same number in the ESA assessment phase was perhaps a little bit too coincidental? - It also occurs to me that a damn fine way of breaking up a long term sick claim is to disallow someone their benefits so there's a break in their claim and a swift return to the assessment phase pending an appeal?
Anyway for now, here's the data so far.....
Total (excluding ONS)
Difference between August 2008 & May 2012
( -) 1,202.320
Now where are the shorter term sick in the ONS statistics I wonder? Now we know what we're looking for it's time to focus a little more on the data with ONS. We've still got a good few thousands of claimants to track down.....
Post by nickd (Mylegal) on Mar 10, 2013 14:27:20 GMT
Historic records of unemployment claimant count figures
1979 to 2012
The claimant count measures the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) and differs from unemployment (which measures people who are out of work, have been looking for work within the last four weeks and are available to start work within the next two weeks). Claimant count estimates are available at Tables 10, 10(1) and 11 of the pdf version of this Statistical Bulletin and at data tables CLA01 (304.5 Kb Excel sheet) , CLA02 (458.5 Kb Excel sheet) and CLA03 (68.5 Kb Excel sheet) .
The claimant count for January 2013 was 1.54 million, down 12,500 from December 2012 and down 64,000 from a year earlier. Chart 16 shows the claimant count for the last five years. The claimant count rate was 4.7%, unchanged from December 2012 but down 0.2 percentage points from a year earlier.
Post by nickd (Mylegal) on Mar 12, 2013 23:33:15 GMT
The creation of the welfare wilderness
A Tory legacy? ....
I'm never quite sure how Iain Duncan Smith gets away with his constant snarling over how it was that welfare seemingly only ballooned over the course of the last ten years. When on BBC Question Time and probed by fellow panellist Owen Jones over the deaths of two Employment & Support Allowance claimants found 'fit for work' following Atos Work Capability Assessments, IDS proudly proclaimed that he was in a government which was tackling the problem of 2.6 million incapacity benefit claimants who had been parked on welfare for the last ten years; he claimed 'no one saw them parked for 10 years'.
I find this an absolutely extraordinary statement coming from IDS.
He would after all well remember the days of 'Maggie's millions' when it was reported that unemployment hit 3 million in 1982; meaning that one in eight people was out of work. IDS would also remember the angry demonstrations in the House of Commons back in the Heath government when politicians were alarmed that the Jobless total had hit the million mark back in 1972 .
It's frankly a little bit silly of IDS to ignore the economic problems of the past, he's a man who has conducted or commissioned endless studies and reports which clearly route the origins of welfare dependency back in the days when large scale redundancies were being reported. Has he forgotten how for instance British Steel shed 1,300 jobs in one month with the closure of 3 plants? how the Port of London axed 2,000 workers? Or how GEC had to sack 1,600 workers across the country? These three major employers alone making claimed 'efficiency savings' collectively resulted in the loss of half a million jobs. There were many other examples, the question we should be asking is what happened to all those who lost their jobs. Were the figures manipulated to disguise high unemployment by moving people from work in to welfare?
Of course they were.
The Tories have to accept the blame that for creating the wilderness....
The following table gives you more than a clue - using only official DWP/ONS sourced data you can see how unemployment (using the claimant count) went from 1,096.000 in 1980 to 1,619.600 in 1997 with the highest figure being recorded in 1986 at 3,053.200. The numbers on the sick swelled from 772,780 in 1980 to 2,403.850 by 1995 - an increase of 1.6 million in 15 years. It can be noted that the figure remained fairly constant up to May 1997 by which time the numbers on the sick had peaked at 2,494.500 (very close to 2.5 million). The numbers on the sick had more than trebled under the Conservatives. With all due respects doesn't IDS needs a few 'parking' lessons before he preaches over who really created the 'welfare wilderness'?
These are real statistics which don't tell lies....
In the far right column I've added the unemployed claimant count to the numbers on the sick, you will see how the combined total goes from 1.86 million in 1980 to very close to 5.1 million by 1993. The numbers had reduced to 4,114.100 by May 1997 but let's not be forgetting that is over twice the number the Conservatives started with back in 1980.
Here's the data....
Unemployed & Incapacity claimants 1980 to 1997
See above notes
In the next post we'll make a comparison with the Labour government from 1997 to 2010 and then look at the coalition's figures from May 2010 to the present.
Post by nickd (Mylegal) on Mar 16, 2013 23:32:51 GMT
Labour figures = these will follow shortly and provide you with a means of comparing the aggregate numbers of incapacitated claimants and those on JSA from 1997 to 2010. The figures are already on Mylegal but I have not yet combined them.
Post by nickd (Mylegal) on Mar 19, 2013 20:53:16 GMT
Wouldn't it be nice if you could turn back time?
With Incapacity 'benefits' YOU CAN! .....
Why I do believe I've stumbled upon the first serious flaw within the DWP's reassessment saga.
It's no different to Arthur Daley clocking one of his dodgy motors....
Except of course if it was Arthur caught winding back the miles from say 319,820 miles to zero he'd find himself locked up on a charge of misleading some unsuspecting punter by duping them in to believing they'd got themselves a right good deal.
Just swop Arthur the dodgy dealer for the DWP and his unsuspecting punter for the great British public. Here's how they swipe a good few thousand 'off the sick' with a clever bit of clocking ....
'Clocking' is a serious criminal offence but somehow the Department for Work and Pensions gets away with it every time they craftily wind back the clock to zero whenever converting an incapacity benefit claimant over to the dreaded Employment & Support Allowance (the 'conversion rules' make it very clear that the conversion does not constitute a new claim for the allowance).
The extent of this scam has huge potential, far more than Arthur Daley would ever have got away with. The DWP started its mass reassessing of no less than 1,946.200 (1.9 million) incapacity benefit claimants back in May 2011 - at the time 1,483.470 of them had claims running for 5 years or more with a further 424.900 for between 2 and 5 years - as can be verified with this link to the DWP data tables for May 2011
The DWP's scam is unearthed by looking at the the only set of Incapacity benefit claimants who had been transferred on to Employment & Support Allowance by May 2012 as can be verified in this link to the DWP data tables for May 2012 Note that out of the 319,820 incapacity benefit claimants who been transferred on to Employment & Support Allowance only 50 had been claiming for between 2 and 5 years and 810 for between 1 and 2 years!
It's a complete distortion made possible by turning ex long-term incapacity benefit claimants in to short term Employment & Support Allowance claims which is contrary to the DWP's rules. It probably happens because the DWP claimant data is linked to the payments it makes rather than to the actual rules relating to the claims.
The vast majority of the converted 319,820 ex - incapacity claimants end up being 're-classified' as 118,000 ESA claimants claiming for up to 3 months, 98,830 for between 3 and 6 months and 102,130 6 months up to a year - they should all be linked and shown as continuous claims.
It is statistically impossible unless the ex ib claimant is being incorrectly misrepresented as a new ESA claim - just go back to the figures representing the same group of claimants before they had been transferred on to ESA a year earlier using the 2011 link and you will see that only 3,240 had been claiming up to 3 months, 3,970 between 3 and 6 months and 9,130 between 6 months and one 1 year.
There is absolutely no possibility of any new claims being made in this set - yet the 0 to 3 month figure has somehow grown' from 3,240 to 118,000.
Perhaps someone needs to remind the DWP that no new claims for incapacity benefits can have been made since it was phased out and replaced by Employment & Support Allowance back in 2008?
This is a serious flaw, so serious I deem it comparable to this but on a much grander scale....
DWP guilty of clocking?
Here's how the DWP winds backs the numbers .....
When the DWP say they want to end long term sickness claims this scam helps them out no end. It's a neat way of getting rid of all the previous years a claimant has spent on incapacity benefits and enables the DWP to only count the time from when the incapacity benefit becomes Employment & Support Allowance.
Take Bob who claimed incapacity benefit in May 2005; he gets 'converted' to Employment and Support Allowance in August 2011. By November 2011 he will officially be counted as only having claimed his Employment and Support Allowance for just 3 months; but really his sickness claim will have been running for a whole six years and six months!
It means that every one of 319,820 long term incapacity claimants moving in to the world of Employment & Support Allowance gets wound back to zero and commences as a short term claimant. It helps in excluding them from the 'long term sick' and 'economically inactive' data collated by the Office of National Statistics which is fantastic news for any government which needs to show is how it it is 'driving down unemployment' - it is cracking news to a Chancellor who is desperately trying to convince us all that we are on the way up and working our way back to economic growth!
The DWP's good news gets even better when you factor in the 72,980 assessment phase claimants shown in the 2012 figures - each and everyone of them is an appeal claimant (see the DWP's confirmation in the statistical notes) and all of them will have been zero counted from the time they lodged their appeals - again it's absolutely impossible given their previous claim history and all the time waiting for their appeal.
Post by nickd (Mylegal) on Mar 20, 2013 18:12:20 GMT
Interesting release from the Office of National Statistics
And a string of positive tweets from the DWP on budget day....
Not the most inspiring of budgets was it? True to form if anyone can make a positive out of a negative it is the DWP. Bear in mind how the DWP feeds a lot of the key data to the ONS who then formulates for the key statistics for unemployment, employment and economic inactivity. It's hardly surprising therefore that they were up late last night tweaking (they call it 'maintenance') the latest statistics in readiness for this morning's latest update - now including claim figures up to August 2012 and a few more interesting additions have been built in too. It's worth drawing your attention to the DWP's statement on the methodology upon which they prepare their statistics. This provides some helpful guidance on how they scrutinise the figures in readiness for their statistical releases.
The DWP's statistical summary home pagetells us their statistical summary release won't be released until tomorrow due to industrial action; all I will say is don't be taken in by the key 'headline figures', you really need to dig deep and look at the detail.
The figures which particularly interest me are well illustrated by the ONS on the following graphic illustration sheet which they released via DWP on Twitter some time today; I've copied some of the DWP's timeline as I think it may provide an indication of what's to come....
The number which interests me is the 8.95 million figure shown for March 2013 where you will also note how the 'not in Labour force' figure is said to be down by 118K....
Labour Market Infographic Summary, March 2013
Overview of the labour market including comparison of full and part time workers, average weekly earnings and earnings by industry.