Benefit sanctions: Tories cling to the ‘politics of the concentration camp’


It has been called the “politics of the concentration camp” – not by This Writer, although I’m happy to echo it if you can’t find the original quotation.

The Conservative government’s determination to inflict poverty and starvation on people who find themselves unable to meet its increasingly-extreme demands shows a determination to force the most vulnerable people in our society into conditions that humiliate them, through no fault of their own; de-motivate them, because the constant, ridiculous demands are not intended to lead to any positive resolution; and ultimately, through sanctions, starve them to death.

I wrote about several such cases over the weekend so the memory should be fresh in readers’ minds.

But the Conservatives are unrepentant. Their latest announcement shows that these genocidal deathmongers are delighted with their bloody work and intend to keep the DWP abattoir open until the moment they are removed from office.

The Independent‘s article today (February 11) is mistaken. After nine years it is wrong to say that the Conservatives are “failing” to act over the “grinding poverty” they are forcing on people. That is the intention. They won’t change it because it is doing precisely what it is meant to do. Every death is intended – especially as Tory ministers claim deniability every time they are questioned.

The latest rejection of attempts to mitigate the effects of the Tories’ murderous policies can only be seen as proof of this. The Commons Work and Pensions committee, having given up on attempts to end sanctions altogether, had called for new protections for single parents and people with disabilities and serious health conditions, and a maximum period of two months for such sanctions for the first failure to comply, rising to four and six months for subsequent breaches.

The DWP dismissed those requests out-of-hand.

Also dismissed was an attempt to secure regulations showing that health-related emergencies, childcare failures and transport difficulties amount to a “good reason” to miss an appointment with Job Centre advisors. Clearly ministers don’t want their favourite reasons for inflicting sanctions removed – it might give those in the most serious danger from their policies a chance of survival.

Sanctions are now known to actively harm benefit claimants’ efforts to find work so there is no justification for the Conservatives to cling to them – other than an intention to harm or kill.

And a report by the government itself – sneaked out without announcement last September – found there was “no evidence” that benefit sanctions encourage claimants to get into work or increase their earnings.

Yet still the sanctions continue.

The Tory government accepted a call for a new evaluation of benefit conditionality and sanctions, saying it would focus on whether the Universal Credit sanctions regime effectively “supports” claimants in their search for work. What a curious use of terminology! Punishment never supports anybody.

And the commitment means nothing. Any Tory-run “evaluation” will simply report that the current system does exactly what it is intended to do. This is only true if we accept that the intention is to harm.

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.

The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:


3 thoughts on “Benefit sanctions: Tories cling to the ‘politics of the concentration camp’

  1. Grahames Blog

    I have no doubt the DWP aims and intentions are to force more people onto a benefit like Universal Credit with the purpose making realise that relying on benefits to live is going to keep you in poverty. Those on zero hours contracts and short term work are given no choice but to go onto Universal Credit. Even those people are struggling with rent arrears and going to foodbanks to find food. What is becoming clear is it the longer someone is on UC the greater the dangers to thier health and being homeless. This of course reduces there ability to do any or much work. So the government are either ignoring these problems or just deliberately continuing with a benefit that is intended to create poverty and destitution and even in extreme cases death.

  2. Anna Tatton

    Please can you email me a text only version of this and clean photo of this. I am being censored and tortured to death. The truth is being exterminated. Likewise truth tellers.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I’m sorry but I can’t email articles to individual readers. All the information is on the screen in any case.

Comments are closed.