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Osborne Memorial award 2014

We set up this award to honour the memory of Geoffrey Osborne, a benefactor and great supporter of the Campaign. The award goes to an individual or organisation making a major contribution to the plain English cause.

Matthew Oakley – independent inquiry into benefits

Matthew Oakley led an independent inquiry into benefits. The inquiry found that claimants are misled, denied crucial information and ultimately let down by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) who use 'legalistic, unclear and confusing' language.

Mr Oakley made the following declaration about a worrying trend.

No matter what system of social security is in place, if it is communicated poorly, if claimants do not understand the system and their responsibilities and if they are not empowered to challenge decisions they believe to be incorrect and seek redress, then it will not fulfil its purpose. It will be neither fair nor effective.

The DWP, at the very least, should be fair and effective. We hope to see Matthew Oakley’s recommendations taken on board.

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