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Disabled people’s experiences of the benefits system: Work and Pensions Secretary given ‘final chance’ to publish report

16 December 2021

The Work and Pensions Committee has written to the Work and Pensions Secretary to give her one final chance to reconsider her decision not to publish Government-commissioned research about disabled people’s experiences of the benefits system.

If the report is not published before Tuesday 11th January, the Committee will use its parliamentary powers to acquire the report and publish it.

Chair's comment

Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP, Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, said: “The Secretary of State has consistently failed to give the Committee a good reason why this piece of research should not be made public. She even admits that it falls within the Government’s own protocol for publication.

The continued refusal to publish the results of the research, as promised to the participants who gave up their time, will do further damage to disabled people’s trust in the Department—which is already in short supply.

The Secretary of State now has a final opportunity to think again and publish the research. If not, the Committee is firmly agreed that we will be left with no choice but to publish the report ourselves.”

The report The Uses of Health and Disability Benefits was received by the Government last year. It followed a research project led by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen), which interviewed disabled people about their experiences of receiving PIP, ESA and Universal Credit.

Full correspondence between the Committee and the Secretary of State is available here. A transcript of the Chair’s exchange with Thérèse Coffey at last week’s evidence session is available here.

Further information

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