Sharma speaks up for benefit conditionality – as elderly woman is sanctioned out of her home

Alok Sharma – what a stain on humanity!

In that, he is typical of MPs who work at the Department for Work and Pensions, it seems. Just look at Esther McVey.

Last week, Mr Sharma defended the imposition of sanctions on people claiming sickness and disability benefits, saying of people on Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) that “to impose a blanket ban which exempts all disabled people from any form of conditionality would be doing this group a great disservice”.

He also said that ministers “do not think it would be appropriate” to introduce a blanket ban on all sanctions and conditions for disabled people awaiting their work capability assessment (WCA) under the new Universal Credit, even though such a ban is in place under the existing ESA system.

Oh, really?

Faith Hurford, of Hillesley near Stroud, suffers with a range of medical conditions for which she is claiming Universal Credit (migrated from ESA, it seems).

She has been turfed out of her home after her benefit was sanctioned – in accordance with Mr Sharma’s wishes – because she arrived at a meeting a little late.

According to Mr Sharma’s reasoning, it would be doing Ms Hurford “a great disservice” to have allowed her to keep her home – after the DWP forced her to undertake a 15-mile journey that her health could not accommodate.

She had to stop for a rest, and that is the reason she was late. According to Mr Sharma, being ill was not a good enough excuse for failing to attend a meeting in which she would have been expected to prove she was ill.

Why does the Work and Pensions Committee – to whom Mr Sharma was attempting to justify this contradictory and deliberately harmful behaviour – continue to tolerate such twisted, nonsensical reasoning?

Still, Ms Hurford should probably consider herself lucky.

What about the case of cancer sufferer Lynne Campbell – who has been denied both Personal Independence Payment and Universal Credit because the benefit assessor who visited her decided she was “not in enough pain”?

It seems the Department for Work and Pensions should submit itself to one of the rebranding exercises that government departments periodically undergo.

As its aim now seems to be the infliction of the most possible pain, I suggest the new title should be “Department of Sadism”.

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10 thoughts on “Sharma speaks up for benefit conditionality – as elderly woman is sanctioned out of her home

  1. Colin Clarke

    The true colours of this tax avoiding self enriching mob can only rejoice when another claimant loses every single thing they lived for. We are now getting to know the true meaning of the phrase “The enemy within!” Read our history and discover just what we have in our midst. I would suggest investigating the “South sea Bubble” as a good starting ground!

  2. hugosmum70

    I wasn’t aware they were now targetting the eldely?how old was this woman?Do we know?and what happened to being able to claim housing and council tax benefits on the grounds of low income?more and more i am reading about people who through sanctions etc are unable to pay rent and being turfed out of their homes. yet they should be able to claim HB&CTB on low income rules has that been stopped now?

  3. Justin

    Sharma should face charges for this, then we could have some karma, high time all responsible accepted responsibility and were treated under the same procedure under law and if that means some jail time so be it, I cannot get any more angry when I see such a blatant level of incompetence, we need a new jail to fit the lot that are responsible for this mess in and let it be run under army regulations

  4. GARY BOW6

    The work and pensions committee is a f*cking joke, just look who’s on it everybody’s favourite back stabbing Tory Frank Field, his name alone tells us we are pissing in the wind if we are expecting any sort of change in the near future. The whole of the DWP at Government level and starting with McVile need to be turfed out. Followed by a change of culture at the Department of Work or Perish.

  5. Grey Swans

    Dear Mike Sivier, Will Vox Political promote Grey Swans to get the full and complete Labour state pension policies into Labour’s Manifesto, right now all entirely missing, as of the 100 top marginals, 62 are small towns which are majority Grey Vote that begins from age 50. Labour lose elections because the majority of the working class do not vote, and that includes men and women in their 50s and 60s as well as pensioners. Not because of the lie that ALL pensioners vote Tory, which is ridiculous as otherwise Labour party would not have existed for over 100 years. There is no formal government gathering of data of how old you are, who vote for any party in elections.
    The James Bonds and Ms have just met with Jeremy Corbyn as they assume him to be the next Prime Minister from the high rumours of a snap 2nd general election about to happen.

    Grey Swans’ demands are not a personal wish list, but policies like pension age 60 men and women and increased state pension money that Jeremy Corbyn said in parliament in 1993. The Tories won 2 elections in the 20th century by reducing the pension age, so vital for the working class who continue to start to die in biggest numbers of all income levels, from age 50, never mind 60.

    Help Grey Swans reach the Grey Vote that Labour cannot canvas to, being of the gift from the Tories of the 1950s ladies, radicalised by the theft of our state pension from 60 to 66, being as we are the self same people as the I Daniel Blakes, by getting the tools of Labour state pension policies demanded by Grey Swans, to make Grey Swans the Momentum of the Small Town Grey Vote. Thank you.

  6. Simon Lee Mountford

    This not surprising for the Conservative government, they have no understanding or the heart to take peoples feelings into consideration. They are only interested in saving there own skins and jobs.
    They use old far right policies as a smoke screen so they can put these policies into practice, which are not nice or helpful in the modern day climate. There are ways to overcome these issues get rid of zero hours contracts and get us the right sort jobs that are applicable to our disabilities.
    The way this government is going about supposing to help those of us that are the most vulnerable in society, yet we are being treated as the whipping boys by the D.W.P.
    And if you consulted with the people with disabilities rather than as the professionals then you would get a true picture of what is required to help people with disabilities or difficulties. The D.W.P have no stomach to want to help people as they are so much more concerned about penny pinching from who ever. Regardless of the outcomes.

  7. Barry Davies

    I think the sonderkommando would be more appropriate, where sanctions means encourage back into work although no decent employer would place your life at risk for short term gain.

  8. trev

    Typical Tory attitude, kick people when they’re down. Sanctions need to be scrapped altogether, for everyone, and the WCA should be scrapped too. Make State Benefits freely available unconditionally to anyone who needs them. Put sickness/fitness decisions back in the hands of GPs.

Comments are closed.