DAA News Network

UK: Daily Mail and misleading articles on disability benefits

Posted 20/4-11 at 12.16

In February, the Daily Mail, one of the UK's tabloid newspapers, quoting unnamed ‘government sources', claimed that

  • Half the 3.2million people on disability benefit have never been asked for evidence to back their claims, it emerged last night.
  • Almost a million people have been on disability living allowance (DLA ) for at least 14 years.
  • DLA costs the taxpayer £12billion a year, the same as the Department for Transport's entire annual budget.

On April 15th, after appeals to the Press Complaints Commission, the newspaper republished its original article together with a letter from the Disability Alliance and a number of disability charities contesting the Mail's account.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1353111/Disability-benefits-Half-claimants-asked-prove-eligibility.html#ixzz1JtczA31e

Editorial comment: The Disability Alliance has claimed that the publication of their joint letter represents a victory over the Mail. It doesn't. There has been no retraction. Instead the Daily Mail has republished the original article, with the same misleading headline, tacking on the critical letter at the end without comment. The message is, ‘here is one opinion and here is a different one.'

http://www.disabilityalliance.org/mailetter.htm

The offending article is one in a series of attacks the Daily Mail has launched over the last year or so against disabled people in the paper's support for the government's policy of cuts. It's February contribution was grossly misleading in that getting DLA is very tough, and even the Department of Work and Pensions says that fraud accounts for only 0.5% of claims. At the same time the government wants to cut DLA by 20%. This means that a great many people who are fully entitled to and reliant on DLA to cover the extra costs of being disabled will lose out. With over a third of disabled people in the UK continuing to live in poverty, this move cannot help but substantially increase that number.

For more details on the inaccurate reporting of disability benefits see:

http://fullfact.org/factchecks/incapacity_benefit_disability_living_allowance_reforms-2615

http://fullfact.org/blog/disability_living_allowance_dla_dwp_press_release-2637

 

 

 

 

 

Comments:

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