Twitter users have responded angrily to a crude PR stunt by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), who tweeted a message warning couples not to “ruin Valentine’s Day by failing to declare your true circumstances”.
“Claiming to be living alone is one of the most common types of benefit fraud – don’t ruin Valentine’s Day by failing to declare your true circumstances”, the tweet read.
The Government department added: “Declaring your true love tomorrow? Don’t forget to declare your true living arrangements too.
“Don’t get separated from your Valentine. Tell us of a change now.”
Claiming to be living alone is one of the most common types of benefit fraud – don’t ruin #ValentinesDay by failing to declare your true circumstances https://t.co/tZuNYZ5fer pic.twitter.com/ahutOO6NUy
— DWP Press Office (@dwppressoffice) February 13, 2018
SNP MP Alison Thewliss was quick to jump on the insensitivity of the tweet, tweeting: “Apparently there is no celebration that @DWP won’t try to ruin…”
She added: “Taking this opportunity also to point out that families with children from previous relationships will lose their child tax credits/UC entitlement by coming together in a new r’ship.
“Or if there are 2 children from a previous r’ship and want to have a 3rd in new r’ship.”
— Alison Thewliss (@alisonthewliss) February 13, 2018
Others also rounded on the DWP, with one twitter user reminding the department about the benefits that remain unclaimed every year.
How about making someone's Valentine's day by making sure you pay all of the unclaimed benefits to which people are entitled. It's the thought that counts.
— Annette (@annettesjl) February 13, 2018
How very feckin sad….why don't you go and chase down some of those companies dodging taxes by the million…oops sorry I forgot, they fund your party
— BillyMcD1 (@BillyMcD1) February 13, 2018
What an awful disgusting message, but I suppose when so many people have died waiting on benefits or having them removed, a false love message fits well with your horrendous department.
— September Rising ??????? (@JmJohnpj) February 13, 2018
I hand over my taxes so that the elderly & frail get decent support. You show lack of compassion by creating a toxic environment against these people
— Linda (@SE25A) February 13, 2018