DWP in hot water after admitting benefit claimants quotes were 'invented'

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The Government has admitted that quotes used for a benefit claimants leaflet were fake and 'invented' and were forced to withdraw the leaflets. The Department for Work and Pensions used the quotes to convey messages from people who were pleased with their experiences of the service.

The leaflet features stories from two fictional people, Zac and Sarah, along with pictures of them and short quotes about their experience with the DWP. Zac's story speaks of how he "kept in touch" with his work coach when he couldn't make a meeting and together they managed to make an alternative time work for him.

Sarah's story speaks of how she didn't want to complete a CV so her benefit got cut but once she liaised with her work coach to complete her CV and her benefit was restored to the normal level. Since the two stories are completely made up it is not much of a surprise that they both show the DWP in a positive light.

A tweet from the DWP read "You may have seen the case study story trending here on Twitter. To let you all know we've removed them now - they were illustrative only." The DWP has since replaced the pictures of the two individuals and replaced them with silhouettes. They also included the message "The people in this fact sheet aren't real. We've used these stories to show how sanctions can work in practice."

Labour's Jeremy Corbyn has criticised the fiasco saying "The fact that the DWP has to make up quotes from benefit claimants saying sanctions are helping them, presumably because they cant find anyone who says they are, not only shows how out of touch the Tories are, but also the effects their ideologically driven policies are having on people’s lives."

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