UPDATE: Monday 4/9/12
Many thanks for forwarding the response to our complaint from the Permanent Secretary at the DWP Mr. Robert Devereux.
I must inform you that the reply is wholly unsatisfactory and unacceptable to us.
In the reply Mr. Devereux states:
“I am not sure from your letter whether your constituent was present at the event where Mr. Moran spoke. I say this because her (sic) account differs so sharply from Mr. Moran’s.”
I can categorically state that my account does not differ in the least from the account Mr. Moran is reported to have given Mr. Devereaux in the ensuing paragraphs.
It seems to me that the facts of the case as put forward are admitted. Only the interpretation given to those statements by Mr. Moran differs sharply.
Mr. Devereaux states that Mr. Moran’s comments were ‘intended to be supportive of disabled people.’
We say that Mr. Moran’s comments constitute playing fast and loose with disabled people’s lives.
He claims that his Mother (who is also disabled) is ‘frequently distressed by stories of fraudulent disability claims: she is worried that such stories would colour how her neighbourhood and community perceived her own disability.’
Disabled people generally are extremely distressed about such stories which are invariably reported in a sensational manner by the right-wing tabloid media and, we submit, in a manner that is calculated to give the general public the impression that there are an army of fake disabled people in our society ‘scrounging’ off the state.
The truth, as Mr. Moran very well knows, is very different.
According to the DWP report on Fraud and Error in the Benefit System for the whole of the financial year 2010/11 0.8% of benefit spending is overpaid due to fraud, amounting to £1.2 billion, the proportion is the same as in 2009/10.
The estimates for different benefits are:
Retirement Pension 0.0%;
Incapacity Benefit 0.3%;
Disability Living Allowance 0.5%;
Council Tax Benefit 1.3%;
Housing Benefit 1.4%;
Pension Credit 1.6%;
Income Support 2.8%;
Jobseeker’s Allowance 3.4%;
Carer’s Allowance 3.9%.
Fraud and Error in the Benefit System: Preliminary 2011/12 Estimates (Great Britain) Revised Edition:
Mr. Moran is playing a very dangerous game.
Careless talk costs lives. The ‘scrounger’ rhetoric put out by DWP Ministers in statements and skewed statistics to the tabloid media has cost our community in human lives as the following articles attest:
We have, frankly, come to expect cynical propaganda from this Government as they seek to implement unprecedented, unconscionable cuts to the support to which disabled people are entitled in a society that deigns to call itself ‘civilised’.
However, as equal citizens of our country we refuse absolutely to accept such irresponsible statements from our Senior Civil Servants who must abide by a strict code of integrity, honesty, objectivity and impartiality and who ought to know better.
Mr. Moran’s suggested solution that “if I had my way” he would stick photographs of cheats to their neighbours’ lamp-posts is particularly dangerous and offensive. It displays a lack of respect for the rule of law and encourages and reinforces the vigilante mindset that all too many individuals have already adopted, as the ITV Tonight documentary has graphically illustrated.
If Mr. Moran had wished to discharge his public service statutory duties to disabled people it would have been far more appropriate for him to have publicised his department’s own figures showing how very low abuse of the system is – in contrast to what sensational media propaganda would have the general public believe.
Our complaint against Mr. Moran stands. He stands in clear breach of the Civil Service Code
We demand that our complaint now be referred to the Civil Service Commissioners for a full investigation and a public response.
As a Constituent and on behalf of Black Triangle Anti-Defamation Campaign in Defence of Disability Rights
I’ve sent this straight to the secretary of state.
I’ll let you have his reply as soon as it arrives. If it is unsatisfactory we will see where we go next, i.e. Commissioners etc.
Ian Murray MP
Labour Member of Parliament for Edinburgh South
Terry Moran, a senior official at the Department for Work and Pensions , said he wanted to shame bogus claimants into stopping claiming but admitted his idea was unlikely to be adopted.
Mr Moran is the chief operating officer at the DWP, and is the official “senior responsible owner” of the Universal Cerdit programme, Iain Duncan Smith’s key benefits reforms.
He told hundreds of civil servants at a conference in west London on Tuesday that he wanted to shame bogus claimants into stopping claiming – but admitted that his idea was unlikely to be adopted.
More than £1billion is fraudulently claimed every year, which £60million is paid out in disability allowances, while another £10million is wrongly claimed in sickness benefits.
Mr Moran told an audience at Civil Service Live, in Olympia, West London, that healthy people who claimed disability benefits illegally distressed him “greatly”. He said “if I had my way” he would stick photographs of cheats to their neighbours’ lamp-posts.
He said: “One of the things that distresses me greatly is when I see these headlines in newspapers when people have pretended to be disabled in order to get money out of the system.
“If I had my way I would put their photograph on every lamp-post in the street where they live because it is a very distressing thing for genuinely disabled people to see the reputation of disabled people damaged in the way that is by those people. We have got to do something about it constructively.”
Mr Moran told The Daily Telegraph afterwards that he was speaking personally, and it was not Government policy.
He was moved to speak out, he said, because of disabled family members who were upset by the frequent reports of bogus claimants.
Terry Moran, Chief Operating Officer, Department of Work and Pensions (DWP)
Terry Moran – Director General, Chief Operating Officer
Contactable via the Departmental Secretariat, 4th Floor, Caxton House, 6-12 Tothill Street, London, SW1H 9NA
Role and responsibilities
Responsible for leading all of DWP’s services to the public, both those delivered by our own staff and those delivered under contract. Also the Senior Responsible Owner for the Universal Credit Programme responsible for the design and implementation of the Universal Credit .
Universal Credit will simplify the benefits system by bringing together a range of working-age benefits into a single streamlined payment to make work pay and combat worklessness and poverty.
Terry is also responsible for Business Continuity for the Department.
Terry took up post as the Chief Operating Officer on 3 October, having previously been appointed as the full time Senior Responsible Owner for Universal Credit on 1 December 2010. He has previously been the Chief Executive of the Pension, Disability and Carers Service (1 April 2008 – 30 November 2010); the Acting Chief Executive of The Pension Service ( 23 July 2007 – 30 March 2008); and the Chief Executive of the Disability and Carers Service (June 2004 – June 2007).
He joined the Department in 1977 straight from school as a clerical assistant and spent his first 12 years working in local offices in Yorkshire and London. Terry’s career has included time as Head of Benefits Management, Yorkshire Area Director in the Benefits Agency and Jobcentre Plus Field Director for the North West.