Benefits for Easter.

Easter eggs!

The news about benefit sanctions is increasingly grim.  First, we learn that Labour joined with the coalition in approving fast-track, retrospective legislation  that prevents people on workfare who were illegally sanctioned getting their illegally sanctioned benefits repaid.

Now, whilst ministers continue to deny it, there is incontrovertible proof that Jobcentre Plus staff are being told they must sanction 5% of JSA claimants or face disciplinary action.  One office has allegedly even offered Easter egg prizes  to the team which sanctions the most claimants.

leaked letter from Walthamstow Jobcentre (external link) warns staff they will be disciplined if they don’t  move their Jobcentre up the sanctions league table by sanctioning 5% of JSA claimants.  The letter gives handy hints and tips on how to catch claimants out,  including targeting claimants who have shared child custody  arrangements.  It also explains how to get ‘an easy win’:

‘An easy win is a JSD [jobseekers direction].  Set one, if the customer doesn’t comply then action the direction!’

It’s hard not to wonder whether the DWP, as an institution, even sees claimants as entirely human anymore.  Stopping people’s benefits for between 13 weeks and three years has a devastating effect on claimants’ lives and potentially on the wellbeing of small children and disabled dependents as well.

To turn sanctions into a game with chocolate for prizes or to threaten staff with disciplinary action if they don’t meet targets – as if they were selling double glazing rather than destroying lives – is astonishingly cruel and has nothing to do with helping people find work.

taken from the Benefits and Work


6 responses to this post.

  1. Thank you for putting this up. Such serious things are happening it is important to raise awareness. I could write several books about my experiences with m s in this system but suffice to say I have ended up without support because I could not stand the demeaning treatment. I am lucky to be able to make this choice, though at some cost. Others cannot.


    • I too am fighting the system, I’ve been ill for 3 years, and have lost my benefits although I’ve worked since I was 15!
      And today there are more insults with the introduction of PIP!
      Be gentle with yourself.


  2. Posted by 4nonfiction on March 28, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    Reblogged this on 4nonfiction.


  3. Posted by The Femmetastic Feminist on March 27, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    This is truly sickening. I am on a disability pension in Australia and my partner has been unemployed, the social stigma is bad enough for people who are “on welfare” without being targeted in this way. Truly shocking.


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