MP condemns Government callousness

Date published: 08 September 2015

OLDHAM MP Michael Meacher has accused the Government of a “complete breakdown in morality” after the number of deaths of disabled benefit claimants was finally revealed.

Three years after the Oldham West and Royton MP first demanded the figures be published, the Government has admitted 2,380 disabled claimants died within two weeks of being assessed as fit to work and having benefits reduced or stopped. Mr Meacher now wants a body to be set up to hold those in power to account.

His demand comes after the Chronicle reported that Oldham East and Saddleworth MP Debbie Abrahams had also blasted the Government over the issue, saying the figure “blows out of the water the Government’s rhetoric that people on Incapacity Benefit or Employment and Support Allowance are scroungers and shirkers.”

Mr Meacher said: “This is a terrible, shameful example, not only of human cruelty to the severely disadvantaged, but of the complete breakdown in morality of the David Cameron/George Osborne/Iain Duncan Smith Government. We now need a Commission on Parliamentary Democracy.

“It is arguably the most damning statistic yet of the sheer callousness and brutality of this Government towards the most helpless victims in our society.”

Mr Meacher has been an avid campaigner against the work assessments and repeatedly called for them to be scrapped following the death of his constituent Colin Traynor, who was considered able to work despite severe epilepsy.

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