Select Committee chairman Frank Field said vulnerable people are ‘wrongly having their income snatched away’ [Image: Getty].

This Writer agrees with social security campaigner Samuel Miller – the government won’t introduce a system that could curb benefit sanctions because they are doing precisely what the Tories want.

Mr Miller writes: “From the DWP’s perspective, the benefit sanctions regime and the recent introduction of the reduced benefit cap are helping to drive record employment, forcing claimants to accept any work – including zero-hour contacts and low wages.

“About 1.5 million people leave the welfare system each year, and there is fear that many of them may be facing destitution and having to depend on food banks for their survival.

“But multitudes of people dropping off the welfare rolls actually saves the government staggering sums of money in benefits provision.”

It should also be mentioned that the reasons for removing many people’s benefits are completely false. The Scottish trial proved this when nearly 500 people were able to get their benefits back by demonstrating that they did not deserve to lose them in the first place.

But the Tories don’t want that to happen. Most of their social security policy over the last nearly-seven years has been about inflicting destitution on the poor in unreasonable ways, being defeated by logic when people fight these policies, and finding new ways of inflicting destitution on the poor as a result, under a cover story of trying to balance the nation’s books.

If people are forced to visit food banks, or to leave their home, or to die, as a result… well, that’s of no interest to a Tory.

It’s true: Your Tory government is cutting the national deficit – one citizen at a time. What are you going to do when the Tories decide to cut you?

Ministers have been accused of sending desperate jobless and disabled people to food banks by stalling on a promised reform to cut the huge number of benefit sanctions.

Frank Field, the chairman of the Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee, has criticised the department for dragging its heels on a badly-needed change.

A “yellow card” system, which gives claimants 14 days to challenge a decision to dock their benefits rather than imposing the punishment immediately, was pledged way back in October 2015.

A trial in parts of Scotland led to almost 500 people successfully explaining why they did not deserve the punishment after being accused of failing to meet commitments to actively look for work.

Yet the Department for Work and Pensions has refused to commit to introducing the early warning system across the country, insisting more research is needed.

Source: Ministers accused of ‘sending vulnerable people to food banks’ by failing to act on promise to curb benefit sanctions

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