Those were the words of one of the many unhappy people we met outside Dundee buroo this week. He had been sanctioned, and his observation was based on personal experience.

There were other sanction cases too. James had been sanctioned for 65 days for not coming to an appointment that clashed with his college course. He had informed the DWP, of course, but the relevant information had got lost. He wasn’t surprised at this because they had been consistently chaotic, even sending him appointments at a Manchester jobcentre, rather than Dundee. And now he was waiting for an overdue hardship payment.

As usual, there were ESA problems too. Paul had been told that it didn’t matter that he was in pain. He had explained that he couldn’t sit and had problems getting around – and they had said he should use a wheelchair.

Kirstie had come up against the inflexibility of DWP bureaucracy, which doesn’t allow for people’s actual circumstances. Her ESA claim had been shut down because she was unable to provide the identification evidence demanded of her. It seems the DWP hasn’t worked out what to do when someone has no passport or driving licence and lives with another family member and so doesn’t have their name on the utility bills – yet that can’t be a very rare occurrence.

Source: ‘You’re better off in jail’ | scottish unemployed workers’ network

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