Fife politicians slam DWP's 'hostile tactics' stopping people claiming benefits

The UK's Work and Pensions Secretary is being criticized for admitting DWP employees were using deflection scripts on people trying to claim Universal Credit.

Amber Rudd had previously denied the tactic of directing callers to the internet rather than dealing with their query over the phone.

But the government denies the scripts were used to get people off the calls.

Yesterday, at DWP questions in the House of Commons, Scottish Labour MP for Midlothian Danielle Rowley challenged ministers to apologise for denying the use of deflection scripts.

She had uncovered documents proving the DWP had lied about their existence.

Ms Rowley said:

"The DWP has repeatedly denied the existence of a deflection script.

"We have heard Amber Rudd dance around the facts and she was only prepared to acknowledge that 'there shouldn't be a deflection script strategy' in the future.

"But the fact is that the DWP systematically adopted this strategy and then attempted to hide the truth – effectively calling the whistle-blower, Bayard Tarpley, a liar in the process.

"Despite the department's attempts to frustrate my requests to obtain the documents under the Freedom of Information Act, they failed.

"We have seen the evidence.

"It’s time for ministers to finally face up to the truth. It's time for Amber Rudd to come clean and it's time to change this unacceptable culture within the DWP."

Scottish Social Securities Minister, Fife MSP Shirley-Anne Somerville, and Lesley Laird, MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath and the Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, have been speaking to Kingdom FM News:

 

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