Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Factual Sodomy; Thrusting The Truth Where The Sun Doesn't Shine.

With The Hardest Hit protest march in London today, there has been a sudden spike in traffic to this investigation due to my shameless linking on the Guardian and other places. With this opportunity I felt the need to gather the evidence spread around the blog into one place to summarise certain Facts which are vital to the national discourse on social security for disabled people. At the end of this day, the hardest hit will be those taking the un-lubricated points of data in the tender nethers.

Disability benefits have not been uncontrollably rising in X number of years.

Click to enlarge
This first graph is taken from the Harrington Report, although it is labelled 'Incapacity Benefit' please be aware that IB was introduced in 1995, replacing Invalidity Benefit which is what is represented prior to that date. Invalidity Benefit rose suddenly when DLA was introduced, likely because increased awareness led to an up-take in what was an under-claimed benefit.

Incapacity Benefit has not risen significantly at all since it was introduced. It peaked in 2005.
Click to enlarge
This graph is the DWP tabulation tool time series from May 1999 to 2010. The blue line is ESA and IB combined to use as a proxy for where IB would currently be if ESA had not been introduced in 2008, when all new IB claims were stopped. As a result of no new claims coming in, IB immediately began falling quickly because about a quarter of all new claims were always going to be short-term as people quickly recovered or died from their ailment.

Only DLA has risen consistently, but has done so since it was introduced in 1992.
Click to enlarge
The graph represents DLA between 1999 and 2010.
Click to enlarge
 This graph is 1995 to 2005.

When someone claims there has been a '30% rise in the last 8 years' they are ignoring that DLA has always gone up and they are ignoring the reasons why. 

Click to enlarge
 In 2002 pensioners made up 33.15% of the total claimant count for Disability Living Allowance.
Click to enlarge
In 8 years, this had increased to 37.53% . Pensioners may claim DLA rather than Attendance Allowance if they claimed DLA and then reached retirement age as long as they still meet the other criteria. This is a positive forcing mechanism the Major government left in that meant DLA was only ever going to rise until a certain point. If Attendance Allowance wasn't being used as a buffer to hide the number of pensioners, the picture for DLA would look more like this:

Click to enlarge
And that was in 2002, add about 4% onto the green slice. 

Pensioners make up 37% of the total DLA claimants, but account for 46.6% of the increase over the last 8 years.

Click to enlarge
 The working-age line grows significantly slower than that of total claimants. 

 The numbers in this graph are not accurate in this format, but the proportions are. The graph emphasises the difference from the previous graph, but the proportions are accurate.

The consistent rise in DLA claimants is predictable and not uncontrollable. It is scheduled to peak just as the DLA reforms come into effect, by coincidence. 
Click to enlarge
This table shows the DWP's estimates for the life expectancies of those who reach pension age in those years. Due to the mechanism that permits pensioners to claim DLA, the oldest DLA claimant in 1992 could be 65 and they would live for 16 more years. Those in that cohort caught up with their life expectancy in 2008. Past that point the rate at which pensioners positively force DLA up declines as the older claimants of the 90s start passing away. Due to the baby boom, the largest chunk of them will pass away around 2015 and DLA will stabilise.

Most disability benefit claims are not for bad backs.

The graph shows back problems compared with the total listed conditions. Back problems include all possibly back problems from severe back pain to Spondylosis and severe spinal injuries. 
Click to enlarge
The graph shows working-age DLA claimants by the 'primary debilitating condition' they put on their DLA forms. The actual diagnosis listed says nothing of the circumstances of claimants. There are 5.4 million Asthma suffers in Britain but only around 20,000 have it so severely they are able to claim DLA for it. There are some accuracy concerns about how the categories are considered, but the DWP has so far neglected to clarify for instance whether DLA forms written in Braille were counted in this. 

This post will be subject to edits as more bull comes in. 

This picture is of Skeletor. He is evil and suspected to be behind the lies.


  1. Giggety giggety goo, this is top notch, Mason.

  2. Skeletor + airbrush = David Cameron

    Skeletor doesn't need to airbrush his moobs.

    Good work.

  3. Excellent investigations, Arec. Keep up the good work.

  4. Very impressive and helpful Mason.

    I need a researcher for a couple of weeks. I'm working on a massive project and can't do it all on my own, also I'm not very good at finding the stats I need.

    Could you email me on and I can tell you what we need to do if your interested?

  5. "although it is labelled 'Incapacity Benefit'.."

    But actually it's labelled right there on your chart as "Incapacity benefits" with a small b and an s at the end. Which means the generic IB/SDA/etc totality rather than specifically IB. Maybe not so much autistic as blind as a bat instead!?

    "Most disability benefit claims are not for bad backs."

    True, but the charts you then show do not actually prove that point. That's because they aren't disability claims in general but DLA specifically. And DLA is the iceing (ok, not really very sweet as a dla dependant myself!) on the cake of the more basic disability benefits. As such it doesn't necessarily correspond. Also you are there citing stats from less than a year ago, when political factors ("who can we fob off easiest") are likely to have distorted things.

    Some likely more valid stats may be found in pathways-presentation.pdf which appears to be an internal review doc that's been accidentally put on public access. The preponderance of disabilities there are very much compatible with causation by mercury vapour from the non-gamma-2 dental amalgams introduced in 1976 onwards with no safety testing before or since. Join the dot folks.

  6. Pathetic site owner that censors anything that is less than indiscriminate praise.
    Good riddance.

  7. Could you clarify? I've not deleted anything although Blogspot had a huge and well-publicised technical blip a while ago that caused data to be lost. An edit I made to the article seems to have also been reversed.

    Re-post your comment if you wish.

  8. I finally realised that blogger had an automated spam filter and I got round to finding the button. It appears RobinPC's post was caught in it and he appears to be the anonymous poster above complaining about 'censorship'. RobinPC is apparently a regular to many spam folders due to blatant spam behaviour, usually regarding conspiracy theories about Mercury and vaccines. RobinPC is quick to imagine censorship where there has been none (he has earned his spammer label from the Blogger spam-heuristics algorithm) which is more likely a case of projection: sites pushing the 'vaccines/mercury/chemicals cause Autism' line are infamous for their deliberately tight pre-moderation and intolerance of dissenting views.

    RobinPC's arguments turn out to be petty and do not effect any of my points.