Damian Green the Minister at the DWP is far from being as consummate a liar as Iain Duncan Smith when it comes to knowingly and deliberately misleading parliament.
Today Hansard records this latest deception which I put into a very simplistic graphic form and tweeted about an hour ago:
The top bit records that Damian Green said just 3% of (ALL) PIP claimants appeal and the bottom bit shows the official Ministry of Justice figures released last week which shows that 63% of claimants overturn an adverse PIP decision in any given year.
Firstly, it appears that Damian Green was trying to be clever in saying that just 3% of all PIP decisions are appealed. This is a known untruth as the number of appeals in any one year may equate to just 3% of all PIP decision made, yet all PIP decisions take many years to make and not all are decided in one year. He was thus knowingly comparing apples with pears in this attempt to mislead and deceive parliament.
Secondly, if say 50% of PIP decisions are positive for the disabled claimant then why would they seek to appeal a successful outcome? Of course they would not and of course they don’t – so yet again Damian Green is knowingly comparing apples and pears in this outrageous attempt to mislead parliament.
Thirdly, IF only 3% of all PIP decisions are appealed (which we know from the above two points is a deliberate lie by the Minister) the statistics reveal that 2 of every 3 are successful as the overall 63% appeal overturn rate for all decisions sees the same official data say that 65% of all PIP decisions that are appealed are overturned in the claimants favour.
This latter point means that every adverse PIP decision should be appealed … if only there were the resources and support available to make such an appeal and these are not available thanks to the government withdrawing legal aid for welfare benefit appeals.
There are approximately 2.2 million PIP decisions in total including DLA to PIP and many decisions are for three years or more – and so Damian Green comparing this at least three year period to one years number of appeals is an overt and knowing deception on his part.
We are also in the midst of a huge number of DLA to PIP decisions and many of these existing DLA recipients were awarded DLA for life and so it is likely that the entirety of all PIP decisions takes much longer than 3 years to see every decision made. This exacerbates the known lies of Damian Green who as the same Hansard record shows is knowledgeable to quote the very specific descriptor within PIP that caused this debate so we must assume he knows that it takes many years for every PIP claimant to get a decision.
He is lying and knowingly so and he has knowingly misled Parliament with this 3% figure. While the word politic means cunning and sly there is no definition of it to mean outright lie which is what he has done here and knowingly so.