Editorial: This is a valid question because we all know it happens. The Mirror website on 24th June 2015 tells us that 1,300 ESA (Education and Support Allowance) claimants died within six weeks of being placed in work related activity between January and November 2011.
These figures come from DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) and boil down to three, four or five vulnerable disabled or ill people dying every day.
Figures have not been released since by DWP and there is now a popular campaign to have current figures made public. DWP are arguing that the figures could be misinterpreted and, because of their emotive and sensitive nature, would be contrary to the public interest.
It seems to me the government will devote more time and energy to keeping the mortality figures secret than they will to preventing further deaths. This fits with the cynical drive to whittle down the welfare state regardless of the cost in human terms. Ministers are hell-bent on this ideological imperative and, while the figures if released might cause public outrage, take thousands of deaths and suicides as a price worth paying.
Read the Mirror article here - http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/benefit-cuts-deaths-revealed-how-5939071
The image is of Ian Duncan-Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. See: http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/commons/mr-iain-duncan-smith/152