I recently issued the following after the publication of the latest statistics for the caseload on Winter Fuel Payments:
EXPOSURE OF DWP DECEPTION
Figures published last week by the Department for Work & Pensions expose the cruel deceptions Ministers and Officials pursued relentlessly for four years concerning the numbers of claimants for the Winter Fuel Payment living in the European Union. The latest WFP claimant statistics published by the DWP are very revealing.
Two years ago the DWP published figures which have now proved not only to be untrue, but to have been gross exaggerations of statistics DWP officials must have known were false. Figures they claimed would inflate the total of all claimants of the WFP, as a direct result of the Judgment in Stewart which came from the Court of Justice of the EU in 2011.
The DWP deliberately exaggerated the estimates they produced and publicised - even giving their figures in 2013 to The Daily Mail three weeks before making them available to MPs.
The DWP predicted there would be 130,000 additional claimants from other EU countries by 2014/2015.
IN FACT numbers published last week show only 63,160 additional claimants.
And, IN FACT since the Judgment in Stewart, 41% of those additional claimants live in the Republic of Ireland - a country which was declared ‘cold’ by the DWP, and therefore those claimants will continue to receive the WFP into the future!
The DWP also predicted an extra cost of £30 Million, and did so in ways which pointed the finger at Expats living in France and Spain. There is also evidence that they maintained their false predictions as if stuck by super glue - a letter written on behalf of David Cameron, dated 17th April 2015, repeated ‘will save around £30 Million a year’. The figures published last week prove this to have been only £17.06 Million.
These newly published figures reveal that the total increase of claimants from the six countries and one overseas territory where the WFP has been removed, on grounds they are all ‘hot’, came to 53% of the total increase. It mocks the statement made by Iain Duncan Smith when he said: “It's absurd and offensive that taxpayers fund payments for people who have retired to the Mediterranean…”