It was freezing today outside the Jobcentre. It was already cold but the wind chill was bad today. The Jobcentre is situated on a corner and we are lucky to have a bit of shelter.
Whilst I was stood discussing recent events in Parliament with a comrade a man asked us what we were doing. I replied that we were there to provide advice and support for those who are at risk from being sanctioned or have been sanctioned. He then became quite agitated. He said “That place, don’t talk to me about that place. Its terrible. My brother went into there, they decided to sanction him. He went home and committed suicide. They are murderers. The government are evil. How long is this going to continue for?” It was very clear to see that he was very angry and upset. He wasn’t hanging around either. He rushed off without giving his name and I don’t blame him.
Nothings changed within the Jobcentres. You are proven guilty without being given the chance to have a say. Sanctions are supposed to be referred to a decision maker and you are supposed to have a chance to appeal against their decision. This isn’t the case though. Sanctions are rushed through, with the correct procedure ignored. Claimants often go to the bank or post office to collect their pittance and are told there is nothing in their account. Its shocking but this happens all the time.
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