Ministers STILL won’t assess impact of benefit sanctions – in case it PROVES a link to suicide?

Mims Davies: Not only does she not know the effect of benefit sanctions on claimant’s mental health; she doesn’t care.

This isn’t the first time the Department for Work and Pensions and the Tory ministers running it have turned down a demand to assess the impact of benefit sanctions on claimants.

They’ve been doing it for years.

But it’s nice to see that public disgust with the implication behind it is growing.

Employment minister Mims Davies responded to a Parliamentary question on the subject, said no assessment has been made of any link between benefit sanctions and mental health problems in claimants, including suicidal tendencies.

But look at the reactions – like this, from Manzoor Ali, director of Barakah Food Aid, which offers donated goods to people struggling to make ends meet:

“People are committing suicide, or on the verge of suicide. Once this sanction comes in, they’re left with no money. It becomes this rollercoaster of a journey. It creates more problems for them,” he said.

“Their benefits are completely cancelled so they’ve got literally nothing coming in. It can take four to six weeks. Sometimes they’ll get an emergency loan, but that is then immediately taken out of their benefits once it’s reinstated. It’s a vicious cycle.

“Some of the people tell me they’re on the verge of calling it a day they don’t know how much longer they can take it. It’s unbelievable.

“The number of children I’m seeing who are just silent. Many are going to school without breakfast. This issue is going to have a future impact – the children will grow up with mental health issues.”


Research by Salford City Council in 2016 found that  sanctions were “devastating” for claimants and could lead to suicide. It was ignored.

Leading psychologists urged ministers to immediately stop the practice or risk soaring rates of mental health problems – in 2017. They were ignored.

report by the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute in March 2019 found that universal credit was “ruining lives” with burdensome red tape for people with mental health issues, and called for an end to sanctions for those in crisis who can’t attend job interviews. It was ignored.

The DWP did pledge in 2013 to review the policy of suspending benefits “on an ongoing basis”, but a report by the Work and Pensions Committee in 2018 found that no such evaluation had been carried out and the government subsequently had “no idea how many people were suffering” as a result of the policy.

The only possible conclusion is that the policy is doing exactly what the Tories want and that mental suffering leading to suicide is the intended aim.

That is not the policy of a government that has the interests of its people at heart.

I wonder how anybody could ever believe that.

Fortunately, it seems only a dwindling number of people still do.

So, I’ll tell you what.

Why not share this article, and see if we can increase the number of people who don’t believe the Tories any more?

Source: Ministers refuse to assess impact of benefit sanctions on mental health despite warnings of links to suicide | The Independent

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  1. Stu January 26, 2020 at 5:44 am - Reply

    For as long as this petty, punitive system exists the victims will keep piling up.

    If the Government were more honest about the purpose of the system and their intentions, empty mass graves would be waiting outside every Jobcentre.

    Perhaps mandatory work experience as gravediggers would be “offered” to those who are still “available for work”.

  2. Jeffrey Davies January 26, 2020 at 6:53 am - Reply

    When will people wake up when they sacked dismissed from their job but to open one’s eyes to the misery this government is given out to those who cannot take it just give up wake up before aktion T4 comes for you culling the stock through benefits denial

  3. Jude Hider January 26, 2020 at 10:24 pm - Reply

    Please could you create a petition on the Government website
    to ask that benefit sanctions be abolished?
    I will help promote it.
    I know others who will also help.

    • Mike Sivier January 27, 2020 at 12:10 am - Reply

      This has been tried many times, to no avail. It would be a waste of effort and cruel to encourage signatories to think anything may come of it.

      We need to find a better way. Perhaps one that gets out the facts of what sanctions do, and brings it home to people.

  4. Mark allinson January 27, 2020 at 9:39 am - Reply

    Why doesn’t the conservative government and the DWP just admit that they want to kill people off so they save money that’s the main reason for sanctions the DWP already overrule a person’s sick note from a doctor all because of the fit for work assessment done by people who are not even quaified doctor they even lied about me and scored me zero points making out I could walk no problem and I scored zero points for the full test even when I was struggling to walk with my walking aid. iam having to fight them threw the courts even now I see a specialist at a rvi hospital for my spine damage the injection has not worked so now looks if they will do surgery and all my disks are covered in DDD and I’ve got annular tears inside because a doctor never sent me for a MRI scan even when I could hardly put one foot in front of the other and put down soft tissue damage and struggling to walk it took me over 4 years to get a MRI scan the DWP now know about the damage with the MRI scan and still say iam fit for work and that there is nothing wrong with make by making out iam lying and won’t change the decision so iam waiting on a court date yet again because they keep messing me about. Or are they running scared because they used someone else’s medical records against my own then makes out that they have lost the UC50 form what proves what was wrote on the form with my health problems because on the report they put that I stated I’ve have these medical problems ( what is not mine ) but when I attended the assessment I have these ( the true medical history of myself ) the DWP live daily by telling lies it would not surprise me if I had died they would say I was alive and well the DWP is that corrupt they don’t even know what the real truth is and what is a lie anymore.

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