Government ‘delayed unhelpful DLA stats until summer break’ by John Pring (DNS)

The government appears to have delayed publishing crucial evidence that undermines a key part of its controversial welfare reform bill until weeks after the legislation completed its passage through the House of Commons.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) report, which details the growth in the number of claimants of disability living allowance (DLA), appears to have been signed off by its author in May, weeks before MPs began the bill’s critical report stage.

But the statistics were only published last week, while MPs were on holiday and weeks after the bill had passed through the Commons.

The delay also meant that the statistics would not have been available to peers, who had been due to debate the bill for the first time on 19 July, although that debate was eventually postponed until 13 September.

The discrepancy in publication dates was spotted by the blogger Mason Dixon, Autistic, who pointed out that the figures were finally published while most of the media was occupied by coverage of the riots.

A DWP spokeswoman claimed that the May sign-off date was a mistake and should have read “August 2011”.

Read the full article at Disability Lib: http://www.disabilitylib.org.uk/component/content/article/1-latest-news/643-government-delayed-unhelpful-dla-stats-until-summer-break

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