Stupid and damaging benefit sanctions exposed in today's Guardian

Wed, 06/08/2014 - 11:58 -- nick

The Guardian is today following up on its shocking expose of David Clapson's death with another piece about the lengths jobcentres, acting on behalf of a callous coalition, will go to in order to sanction benefit claimants.

Those who follow the story will have grown wearily used to stories of letters designed to get to jobseekers late, phones remaining unanswered and apparently secret appointments, all the result of the target culture the government has forced on jobcentres and the work programme.

It stands repeating over and over again: in 21st century Britain, the fact that some are starving because they are out of work is shameful.

One commenter, Alternative3, points out just how far conditions have slipped for workless people, now treated worse than violent criminals:

"Around two years ago, when the new harsher sanctions were announced, I read in a local paper of a court case involving grievous bodily harm. For repeatedly sticking a glass in someone’s face, a man was fined £200 and given a community service order of 100 hours. For the crime of being 10 minutes late for an appointment, you can be fined £1,000+. For the crime of being unemployed, you can be sentenced to 780hrs of work punishment. Welcome to ToryWorld."

The result is always counter-productive; commenters point out that the personal disaster of losing all of their income actively prevents them from looking for work.

Read the full article

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