Demand the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) stop misleading the public

We are calling for an independent investigation into DWP's working practices. The Government must engage with the compelling evidence that points to the harm Universal Credit is causing, leaving many people reliant on food banks and others destitute.

The ask

  • That the Government commit to an independent investigation into how and why these misleading adverts were approved within the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP).
  • Z2K is also asking the Work and Pensions Select Committee to undertake a wider inquiry into whether this represents a more fundamentally dysfunctional culture, one which relies on damaging propaganda to avoid engaging with the real experiences of people struggling to live on Universal Credit
  • We are also calling on the DWP to make a formal apology for these misleading adverts

Why is this important?

The Government repeatedly misled the public during its nine week Universal Credit ad campaign in The Metro earlier this year.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has confirmed that there is simply no evidence to back the DWP’s claims about people being better off on Universal Credit.

Numerous experts, including charity Z2K have given evidence to the DWP about the damage Universal Credit is causing people.  Instead of engaging with this evidence, DWP commissioned an advertising campaign to spread misleading propaganda about what life is like for those on Universal Credit.

The ads have ended for now, but those in Government who authorised them must still be held to account. DWP must never again be allowed to get away with using taxpayers money to peddle such lies.  Its arrogant refusal to accept evidence from experts of the harmful impact of its policies is simply not acceptable in public service.

At a time when thousands of people are reliant on food banks, the government is spending public money on propaganda.  This has to stop and the DWP must engage with the real stories of people and the ways in which they are being forced into poverty and destitution because of the holes torn in the Social Security system.