Don't forget a lot of these figures were used in compiling impact assessments as part of government's duty to assess how austerity cuts would affect the most vulnerable in society.
Here we look at the problems which exist when a claimant is on more than one benefit.
In addition to which I am also trying to work out where I believe there is a serious flaw in government's statistics. I am perplexed as to how little definition is given to 'disability'. It seems the task of defining the long term sick is even more difficult. I have taken up enquiries with the ONS but again they have no clear definition themselves it seems.
A number of government statistics are based on what a person, or more particularly a benefit claimant, reports of their health problems. I believe it is essential to establish a clear definition and to work out the correlation between statistics supplied by the DWP and also the ONS. The ONS obtain much of their data from surveys rather than DWP statistics.
I have been tracking the ONS figures in respect of the economically inactive and those said to be unemployed. Their figures do not align with the changes in the figures produced by the DWP in respect of those on JSA and also those who are incapacitated. Remember in these figures we are looking for serious flaws.
The DWP footnotes for instance which accompany the following table explain that a claimant in receipt of both DLA and JSA would appear as a jobseeker rather than disabled.
Take the following summary (which is the latest the DWP are able to produce in this series) and you will see that out of over 5 million claimants only 383,280 (1.0%) were designated 'disabled' - how can this possibly be right?
Here are the figures and you will see what I mean:
Working Age - February 2010
The percentages relate to a population related figure.
Total = 5,917,560 (15.9%)
Jobseeker's = 1,526,010 (4.1%)
Incapacity & ESA = 2,614,760 (7.0%)
Lone Parent = 692,020 (1.9%)
Carer = 422,080 (1.1%)
Others on income related benefit = 191,350 (0.5%)
Disabled = 383,280 (1.0%)
Bereaved = 88,060 (0.2%)
Statistical Group is a hierarchical variable. A person who fits into more than one category will only appear in the top-most one for which they are eligible. For example a claimant of Disability Living Allowance and Jobseekers Allowance would appear in "Job Seeker", not in "Disabled". For more information see 126.96.36.199/100pc/wapop/tabtool_wapop.html.
Statistical Group Lone Parents are defined as claimants on Income Support with child under 16 and no partner. Lone Parent Obligations were introduced from 24th November 2008 affecting the age of the youngest child. Further details are provided in the Background Information: 188.8.131.52/100pc/wapop/tabtool_wapop.html
Statistical Group From November 2008 the "incapacity benefits group" includes Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). ESA replaced Incapacity Benefit and Income Support paid on the grounds of incapacity for new claims from 27th October 2008. Prior to this the "incapacity benefits group" referred to claimants of Incapacity Benefit (including credits only) or Severe Disablement Allowance including people claiming IS on the grounds of Incapacity.
Post by nickd (Mylegal) on Jun 9, 2013 23:00:18 GMT
Hmmm, what happened to DWP transparency?
Dig deep & your vision will be obscured.....
'Dig deep' is what the DWP advocated earlier on in the year when challenged over their ineptness at providing the public with the true figures on information relating to benefit claimants. Their explicit advice to those wanting the detail was to 'dig down deep' in to figures on the DWP statistical website.
How could I resist their invitation?
As a firm believer in 'seek and ye shall find', I've been digging down deep in to the depths of the DWP and their most hidden figures for some time now. The problem is my vision has become obscured, and there was me thinking this was the government of 'transparency'.
What we can fairly easily ascertain using the DWP link hereis how the numbers of claimants on Jobseeker's Allowance has increased from:
1,354,620 in May 2010
1,443,540 in November 2012
A net increase of 88,920 in the time the Coalition has been in.
It strikes me as somewhat low as despite all you hear about all these wonderful jobs sweeping the country like wildfire in the private sector all I'm hearing is more and more people are being put out of work.
Now you don't need to be Einsteen to work out that the DWP has actually sanctioned more than three quarter of a million claimants more claimants than they have languishing on their books down at the Jobcentre.
Ah, easy I think. Let's go to the DWP's ever so transparent data access site and use what we call the 'on flow tabulator' to work out how many Jobseeker's have claimed JSA since May 2010 and now. You should also be able to see how many claimants have come off JSA in the same period using their equally smart 'off flow' tabulator.
Strangely you won't. For it seems the on - flow tabulator only tells us what we want to know about those taking up claims for the following benefits:
Bereavement benefit & Widows Benefit - combined information
Incapacity Benefits & Severe Disablement Allowance - combined information
Employment & Support Allowance
It seems that Jobseeker's Allowance, for some strange reason, is excluded from the drop down menu list on the 'on - flow tabulation tool.
Seeing as this is the data access page linked to the DWP's record from the 'WPLS' and intrinsically linked to details of how much a claimant is paid, duration of claim, their disability status along with many other combinations, I find it just a little strange they are unable to (or perhaps they just don't want to) produce this information.
This is very relevant to what happens to claimants who come on and off Employment & Support Allowance as well.
Now why do you suppose the DWP doesn't want us to know how many people 'flow' on and off Jobseeker's Allowance?
Post by nickd (Mylegal) on Jun 11, 2013 13:55:47 GMT
Title: Lone Parent Claimants of Jobseekers Allowance - Data to April 2013 Provisional release date: 12 June 2013 (delayed) Theme: People and Places | Department: Work and Pensions | Coverage: GB Geographic breakdown: Other | Designation: Experimental Official Statistics
Summary: IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to a data supply problem, Lone Parents Receiving JSA tables will not be released on 12 June 2013. We are working to resolve the issue. Further updates will be posted at www.statsusernet.org.uk. Apologies for any inconvenience.
Title: DWP Statistical Summary - June 2013 Release date: 12 June 2013 at 9:30am Theme: People and Places | Department: Work and Pensions | Coverage: GB Geographic breakdown: Local Authority and County | Designation: Official Statistics not designated as National Statistics Summary: Release of DWP Monthly statistics for Early Estimates for Income Support Lone Parents and Employment and Support Allowance and incapacity benefit client group (ESA/IB).
Title: Work Programme Official Statistics - June 2013 Release date: 27 June 2013 at 9:30am Theme: People and Places | Department: Work and Pensions | Coverage: GB Geographic breakdown: Parliamentary Constituency | Designation: Official Statistics not designated as National Statistics Summary: Statistics to show the number of referrals, attachments, job outcomes & sustainment payments to the Work Programme.
Title: Benefit Cap Pre-national Implementation Statistics in the Four Local Authorities Subject to the Phased Implementation of the Benefit Cap - Data to May 2013 Release date: 03 July 2013 at 9:30am Theme: People and Places | Department: Work and Pensions | Coverage: GB Geographic breakdown: Local Authority and County | Designation: Official Statistics not designated as National Statistics Summary: This release will include: A point in time number of households affected by the Benefit Cap, Local Authority geographical breakdown, Main benefit type, tenure type, household type and number of children breakdowns.
Post by nickd (Mylegal) on Jun 11, 2013 14:45:56 GMT
Press Release: MP sends Minister speech before debate on controversial benefit test
Posted on June 11, 2013
Debate on audio recording of test for Employment and Support Allowance at 7pm on Wednesday
Sheila Gilmore’s speech sent to Minister responsible this afternoon
Minister can have no excuses for not answering questions
In advance of a debate on the test for controversial sickness and disability benefit ESA, Work and Pensions Select Committee member Sheila Gilmore today took the unusual step of emailing an advance copy of her speech to the Minister due to respond, Mark Hoban.
The Work Capability Assessment (WCA) is used to determine whether people can get Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), which replaced the old-fashioned Incapacity Benefit in 2008. Since its introduction many claimants have been incorrectly found fit for work. Sheila Gilmore has secured a half hour debate at 7pm on Wednesday 12 June on the question of whether these assessments should be audio recorded to improve their accuracy, something the Government are currently resisting.
Speaking today Sheila Gilmore said:
"Today I have taken the unusual step of emailing a copy of my speech for an upcoming debate to Mark Hoban, the Minister due to speak for the Government. Now he can have no excuse for not answering the important questions I intend to put to him."
Sheila Gilmore went on to say:
Since the introduction of the Work Capability Assessment, 4 in 10 people found fit for work have appealed their decision – costing the taxpayer £50 million per year – and four in ten of those appeals have been successful.
That’s why I’ve been calling on the Government to fix the flaws in the Work Capability Assessment, and one of the first things they could do is roll out audio recording to all assessments.
In my speech I pick apart the Government’s case against the use of audio recordings. In particular I debunk their suggestion that there isn’t any demand from claimants for this. I want to ensure the Minister can’t ignore these points, and that’s why I’ve take this action today.
In advance of the debate I have secured tomorrow evening on the audio recording of Work Capability Assessments I have decided to email you a copy of the speech I intend to deliver in full. Please find this below. I am doing this so as to give you advance notice of the points I intend to make and the questions I intend to pose to you. Hopefully this will allow you to provide a more comprehensive and helpful response than might otherwise have been the case.
I look forward to seeing you at the debate tomorrow.
Sheila Gilmore MP | Edinburgh East
Speech for adjournment debate Wednesday 12 June 2013:
Audio recording of work capability assessments
Everybody here is probably familiar with some of the issues relating to the employment and support allowance and the work capability assessment. Between the introduction of the assessment in October 2008 and February 2012, 1.36 million new claimants were assessed and 794,000 were declared fit for work. Of those 311,900 appealed their decision and 116,400 were successful and were awarded ESA. That means that nearly one in ten of all ESA assessments have been overturned. Although the proportion of decisions overturned has started to fall, the overall number still remains extremely high. And those figures do not include all the incapacity benefit claimants currently being migrated to ESA, a process that started last year and is due to be completed in 2014.
Like many of my colleagues, I have been considering a number of different aspects of the issue. In May last year I secured a debate in Westminster Hall on the recommendations for new mental, intellectual and cognitive descriptors drawn up by Mencap, Mind and the National Autistic Society. Then in December I secured another debate in which I highlighted the fact that people are regularly being called back for reassessments just months after their previous claim has been granted after appeal.
Today I want to focus on the provision of audio recording equipment in assessments. The assessments carried out by ATOS have been much criticised. Assertions have been made about some of the questions asked, and the attitude of assessors.
For example I recently met a constituent – by no stretch of the imagination a disability activist – who told me that in the assessment the assessor commented on her handbag – a present – and said 'well I couldn't afford that, even on my salary'. My constituent felt this was irrelevant and carried with it the implication that she didn't need the benefit.
These assertions are regularly denied by ATOS and not accepted by DWP. We even have differences of opinion in the Work and Pensions Select Committee, with some members feeling that some of the campaigning organisations exaggerate their criticisms.
I believe audio recording assessments would allow these questions to be settled once and for all. They would provide important new evidence in the event of appeals. But I also believe they would improve the quality of assessments, thus reducing the number of appeals in the first place. Assessors would be prompted to ensure their work is of the highest possible standard. This might involve taking their time, asking open as opposed to closed questions, and probing possible issues.
I was therefore pleased that the year one Harrington review recommended that Atos should undertake a pilot to test this hypothesis – do audio recordings improve the quality of assessments? This went ahead in Atos’ Newcastle assessment centre during March – May 2011, and an Evaluation Report was submitted to DWP on 4 June 2011.
Lack of demand
In a Westminster Hall debate on 1 February 2012, the previous Minister the right hon. member for Epsom and Ewell set out the Government’s position. He said that due to a lack of demand, audio recording would not be rolled out for all assessments. Specifically he said:
“We decided not to implement universal recording because, based on the trial experience, people did not want it.”
I am afraid that this assertion is completely unjustified. The Atos pilot concluded, and I quote: “68% of customers agreed to the recording when contacted by telephone prior to the appointment.”
Due to some claimants not turning up for their assessment, this dropped to 46%. But this figure is still substantial, and this demand for audio recordings is reflected in one of Atos’s key conclusions, and I quote:
“Our recommendation would be that recording should be become routine as it is in a call centre or for example – NHS direct.”
Parliamentary questions and Freedom of Information requests have generally referred to another metric to defend the Government’s position – the number of claimants requesting a copy of their recording, which the report suggested was just 1%.
However this cannot be regarded as an accurate reflection of demand for two reasons.
Firstly assessors in the pilot used handheld devices and thus recordings had to be transferred to computers and burnt to CDs after assessments. This meant that claimants couldn’t pick up their recording on the day but would have to go to the added effort of making requests in writing. In effect this required claimants to both opt-in to the pilot and then opt-in again to get their recording. Unsurprisingly this suppressed uptake.
Secondly claimants were told that recordings would only be of use to them in the event of an appeal, and given the report was completed days after the pilot concluded, most of those involved would not yet have received a decision on their claim. Demand may well have been higher had this metric been measured after a longer period.
So will the Minister now accept that the number of claimants requesting a copy of their recording is not an accurate reflection of demand, and that the number of people acquiescing to their assessment being recorded is a more appropriate metric to use?
Turning to what is actually happening on the ground now, I want to refer back to the statement given by the previous Minister the right hon. member for Epsom and Ewell in Westminster Hall on 1 February 2012. In addition to claiming that there wasn’t much demand for audio recordings, he said:
“We will offer everyone who wants it the opportunity to have their session recorded.”
Yet in practice it is very hard to have your assessment recorded. The option to request recordings is not mentioned in any official DWP communications to claimants. Answers to written parliamentary questions given on 21 May and 5 July 2012 emphasise that recordings must be requested in advance. As my colleague the right hon. member for East Ham said in a debate on 4 September, even when requests are made they are not always met due to a lack of equipment. A Freedom of Information response from 22 May 2013 indicated that Atos now had around 50 audio recording machines, but this is inadequate given that over 11,000 assessments are undertaken across the country every week. And another FOI response from 23 May 2013 suggests that this national rollout is in fact a temporary measure that will end later this year.
So can the Minister confirm whether any official DWP communications inform claimants that they can have their assessment recorded? Can he indicate how many audio recording devices Atos now have access to? And can he confirm that what few recordings currently occur are part of a wider rollout or a mere further pilot?
Rate of successful appeal
As it was his report in 2010 that prompted the Newcastle pilot, it is worth looking at what Professor Harrington has had to say on this issue since then. In his December 2012 report he said:
The pilot of audio recording of assessments has also been subject to much debate; particularly through the call for evidence responses (see Chapter 6). The Review has seen little evidence from the DWP evaluation of the audio recording pilot of 2011 that the universal audio recording of assessments would improve their quality (see the original recommendation): further monitoring and evaluation work needs to be completed before a decision can be made.
While the Minister might like to interpret Harrington’s reference to ‘little evidence’ as suggesting audio recordings make no difference, I would argue that what he’s really getting at is the inadequacy of the pilot commissioned and accepted by DWP.
All that the authors did was take a small number of assessors’ reports, review them in light of the recordings, and conclude that they tallied with each other. Subsequently the Government have both highlighted and ignored the various metrics of demand mentioned in the report to justify their policy. But neither of these approaches answers the key question that Harrington posed – do audio recordings improve the quality of assessments? Instead I would contend that the key performance indicator for the WCA should be the proportion of decisions that are subsequently overturned on appeal – as I set out earlier, currently running at nearly one in ten.
A more robust pilot would have involved taking larger samples of both recorded and unrecorded assessments and examining the proportion of successful appeals for both. If they were the same, then it would be fair to conclude the recordings make no difference. But if there were a smaller proportion of successful appeals from those that were recorded then it would be equally fair to conclude that they were worthwhile.
Ministers should commission their civil servants – not Atos – to rerun the pilot so we can find out once and for all if they reduce the likelihood of fit for work decisions being successfully appealed. If it does then they should be rolled out nationwide – not just where recording equipment is available.
So I’d be grateful if the Minister could respond on the three sets of questions I have raised in my speech. Firstly will he accept that requests for copies of audio recordings should not be cited as a reflection of demand? And will he accept that the number of people acquiescing to have their assessment recorded is a more appropriate metric to use?
Secondly can he confirm whether any official DWP communications inform claimants that they can have their assessment recorded? Can he indicate how many audio recording devices Atos now have access to? And can he confirm that what few recordings currently occur are part of a wider rollout or a mere further pilot? 4 And finally will he accept Professor Harrington’s call for more work to be done on this? And will he rerun the pilot using the level of successful appeals as the key metric in determining whether or not audio recordings improve the quality of assessments?
Post by nickd (Mylegal) on Jun 16, 2013 12:20:55 GMT
Ministerial questions 3rd June 2013
And all the usual answers (WCA) Stats.....
Work Capability Assessment
Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of specialist training given to Atos health care professionals in relation to fluctuating conditions; and what plans he has to ensure that sufficient support is offered to the work-related activity group to ensure that people with fluctuating conditions in that group have suitable options. 
3 Jun 2013 : Column 1054W
Mr Hoban: All health care professionals (HCP) who carry out the WCA are trained to ask about and take account of fluctuation. Training on variable and fluctuating conditions is delivered throughout the learning path for the HCPs employed by Atos Healthcare during their initial course and continues throughout their training and professional development. In addition to discussing variability during the course, all HCPs are provided with learning materials at the initial stages to cover a range of variable conditions. During the consolidation phase of new entrant training fluctuating conditions are further discussed.
In addition to this initial training material, HCPs have a range of learning resources available including distance learning packs and continuing medical education products to aid understanding of fluctuating conditions. There is also a specific learning pack available on variability which addresses multiple issues with assessing fluctuating conditions.
In relation to the support offered to those in the work-related activity group; support is available through either Jobcentre Plus or the Work programme. A claimant's medical circumstances are taken into account when considering requiring them to undertake a specific activity. Claimants are encouraged to discuss the impact of their condition on their support needs, while advisers/providers will be well-placed to understand and reflect the needs of claimants to help them successfully move towards employment.
Sheila Gilmore: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his policy is on publishing statistics on the number and percentage of (a) successful and (b) unsuccessful appeals for (i) repeat functional assessments and (ii) incapacity benefit reassessments as part of the quarterly bulletin of Work Capability Assessment statistics. 
Mr Hoban: The Department continually reviews our statistical publications and will consider adding this information to the existing publication, subject to available resource. Amendments to the publication will be announced in advance in line with UK Statistics Authority guidelines.
Post by nickd (Mylegal) on Jun 30, 2013 10:06:31 GMT
Detecting potential flaws
The DWP like cumulative figures.
Thinking of them as building blocks, a bit like those shown above.
This is how the DWP collates its data for the number of people assessed under the Work Capability Assessment and also the numbers of people getting work through the Work Programme via the cumulative payment tables.
There's nothing wrong with cumulative figures and in the case of those being found fit or unfit for work or being found a job via the Work Programme it's a perfectly valid means of keeping tabs on the numbers assessed and those finding work.
But after a while cumulative figures get unreliable.
Because just as you add building blocks to the top of the pile you also take some away from the bottom or somewhere in between. The cumulative figure is the total number of blocks added to the pile. It's no different to counting the numbers assessed as fit for work or having been placed in work.
But it's not representative of the actual number of claimants fit for work at any one time and nor will it necessarily tell you how many are still in work after being placed in work via the Work Programme.
Check whether cumulative figures have been adjusted
Otherwise you'll find yourself saying something like "130,000 have found work with the help of the Work Programme " which as a cumulative figure may be perfectly correct. However if 65,000 of the jobs only lasted a month it would be more relevant to say " whilst 130,000 may have found work only 65,000 are still in work "
Just a cautionary note as otherwise the figures you're quoting may be flawed.
The government is quoting 'actual' minimum performance levels of 24.9% by measuring the number of claimants attached to the Work Programme rather than actual job outcomes. The centre say they would prefer that job outcomes were measured in which case we would be seeing an actual minimum performance level of just 10% against a lower estimated figure of 13% rather than the current minimum of 27.5% set by the DWP.
I wonder how many more studies, reports, graphs and surveys we need to see before people get the message: the Work Programme is failing those it was designed to help.
The centre gives the ailing programme and government an easy ride by its failure to grasp the real issues which should be concerning those who look to government to realistically help those it has spent the last three years labelling as work-shy. The report draws attention to what it sees as the three main cohorts of claimants against which performance is measured. The following 'results' are highlighted using government's thwarted methodology
JSA 18 to 24 participant group JSA 25 and over participant group New ESA claimants participant group
33.0% 27.5% 16.5%
31.9% 27.3% 5.3%
It enables government to hold its head high and claim its actual figure of 24.9% is only marginally below the DWP set minimum. The reality is that out of over 1 million attached to the programme at a government quoted cost of £736 million pounds a little under 132,000 have ended up with a 'job outcome'.
Unsurprisingly government earns itself a gold badge by quoting the higher figures relating to those on Jobseeker's Allowance; it mitigates the well under par 5.3% in the 'New ESA claimant group' - which should have hit a much higher figure 16.5%.
In my estimation the 5.3% is a complete red herring. Why is government once again only focussing on new ESA claims (usually of a much shorter duration) when the programme is primarily meant to be about helping the longer term incapacitated? The papers have been full of '75% on the sick are fit for work', 'only 1 in 14 is unable to work', '900,000 hide from assessments for fear of being found fit for work'.
The proof of the pudding they say is in the eating, why is no one highlighting how out of over 2.6 million on incapacity benefits prior to ESA being introduced back in 2008 all we have seen is 210 with a job outcome following government's equally costly 'reassessment' programme which started assessing 11,000 claimant a week back in May 2011?
Why is Labour saying nothing? Why isn't the opposition standing up for those who have been relentlessly taunted by a vile media campaign when they have a golden opportunity to highlight how government is pulling the wool over everyone's eyes when it comes to the longer term incapacitated?
Indeed why, apart from some sterling back bench MP's, is Labour doing nothing to highlight the Tories track record on welfare between 1979 and 1997 as highlighted by the following table:
Whilst the above chart is good for illustrative purposes it highlights how much a variance there is between the ONS & DWP figures. If you want to check a DWP figure use their WPLS data base it's far more accurate than the hit and miss figures often compiled by the ONS.
You could say they're so transparent that it can be very hard to make sense of what you're trying to look for. We're constantly told 'unemployment is rising or falling' but the way it is measured depends on where the figures are being sourced from. The claimant count is measured by the DWP but not in the same way as the Office of National Statistics measure unemployment or 'economic inactivity' (the people who could potentially contribute to the labour market but are unable to do so for all kinds of reasons including long term sickness).
Here we take a look at the DWP data from 1997 to 2012 to see how many different groups of claimants claim benefits across some of both the ONS's unemployment and economically inactive data sets.
Yet if we add the 1,086,820 to the 1,447,980 we get a figure of 2,534,800, considerably more than the 2,499,960 shown on a related data table which should read exactly the same.
So there you have it the DWP can lose 34,840 claimants in exactly the same month and make their figures sound better by saying " the total is now less than 2.5 million ", except of course we all know it isn't.
The conclusive evidence of 'clocking' long term claims
580,520 long term sick claims over 5 years disappear in the DWP's 'conversion' trick
In other words 580,520 incapacity claims of over 5 years in duration have seemingly disappeared from the incapacity benefit figures but none of them appear in the over 5 year durations for Employment & Support Allowance. For the avoidance of doubt any claim which has has undergone 'conversion' from incapacity benefits to Employment & Support Allowance is not a new claim, it remains a continuous claim and as such any period the claimant spent on incapacity benefits should be 'carried forward' to the converted ESA claim. Not to do so distorts the stand alone Employment & Support Allowance figures which currently only count the time the claimant has gone past the 'conversion decision' stage.
The missing 34,840?
On a final note you will see how some of our missing 34,840 turn up as 29,910 incapacity benefit claimants aged over 65. Basically it helps to include them when you want to show how the numbers on the sick is 'growing out of all proportion' but not for showing when you want to kid the nation that you've cured all sickness benefit claims. The government seems to use working age statistics to its own advantage. Clearly anyone claiming an incapacity benefit beyond the age of 65 considers themselves to be of working age, it is a work replacement benefit and as such should be included in the government's main stream figures - of course you can see why they'd prefer not to despite their work till you drop philosophy.
Why is no one cottoning on to this?
IDS is sweeping up; in a few years time he'll smugly say
" look how I reduced the numbers of long term sick claims"
Post by nickd (Mylegal) on Jul 5, 2013 20:34:11 GMT
This is what I call an 'hurray' moment
"Work and Pensions Committee announces meeting to question DWP on release of benefit statistics"
Work and Pensions Committee announces meeting to question DWP on release of benefit statistics
04 July 2013
The Work and Pensions Select Committee has today announced an evidence session with DWP officials on the production and release of DWP statistics.
Details of the sessions are as follows
Time/date: Wednesday 10 July at 2.30 pm Location: Committee Room 5, House of Commons
David Frazer, Head of Information, Governance and Security Directorate, Department for Work and Pensions
John Shields, Director of Communications, Department for Work and Pensions
The session is expected to cover the following issues: the processes DWP has in place for preparing and releasing statistics; DWP’s role in facilitating media interpretation of statistics; recent UK Statistics Authority investigations into complaints about benefit and the DWP response; and the quality and accessibility of DWP statistics.