Yet again, the Department of Work and Pensions has been revealed as an organ of monstrous bureaucratic cruelty this week, with a report from the charity Mind showing that the DWP is three times more likely to sanction someone with mental health problems than to help them find work.
The report states that 250,000 people with mental health issues are receiving Employment and Support Allowance, and of these, 19,259 were sanctioned last year while only 6,340 were helped into work in the same time frame.
Employment and Support Allowance is supposed to act as a safety net, to prevent Britain’s most vulnerable citizens from extreme levels of poverty.
If you’re suffering from a mental illness, the safety net is filled with holes and suspended over a pit of sharks, each with Iain Duncan Smith’s face. The analogy is flippant, but the facts are anything but.
The levels of distress that arbitrary sanctions can bring to people suffering from severe depression, anxiety, and eating and personality disorders are huge.
To inflict this kind of stress on someone already struggling with a mental health problem is nothing short of barbaric, and yet the DWP continues to trample those who need help beneath its great, crushing wheel of incompetence and cruelty.
Another stellar idea from the Department of Work and Pensions has been to station DWP employees in food banks, ostensibly help those seeking emergency food supplies to find work.
Ironically, this is clear proof that Iain Duncan Smith is aware of the effects of his punitive measures. He knows that sanctions have forced more than a million people to rely on emergency food, and by placing DWP advisors in food banks, he is essentially making food banks an accepted part of social security in Britain.
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