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Thursday, 27 October 2011

FoI Act Request - ESA paid to mass murderers

27 October 2011
Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

I have read that some convicted criminals serving long term prison sentences for very serious crimes (including mass murder) have successfully claimed ESA payments on the basis that they are being held under the Mental Health Act and it is their "illness" that is preventing them from working.

a) Is this true?
b) What is the current average weekly cost of ESA and any other benefit payments to these people?
c) What is the current average weekly cost of all benefits payments to all prisoners, excluding those unconvicted and held on remand?
d) What legislation allows these payments to be made?
e) Does DWP regard these payments are equitable?
f) If not, are there specific plans in hand to amend the legislation and by when do you aim to have them implemented?

Yours faithfully,

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