25 jobseekers for every job on Tory government’s own website

Do the Tories really intend to penalise people for failing to get work – according to Universal Credit rules – when there are so few jobs available? Thanks to Boris Johnson, Matt Hancock, and their government’s inability to manage Covid-19 properly, there are now 2.3 million UK citizens claiming Universal Credit. Sanctions have been reimposed so they must follow the rules and go after the jobs that are available – no matter how unsuitable, or indeed distant. The situation is absurd – as the Frank Zola blog pointed out while…

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Inhumanity of the Tories’ Covid-19 benefit sanctions is revealed

Using an ad-blocker? PLEASE SWITCH IT OFF My ads don’t cost you anything but they do provide me the money I need to live. Using an ad-blocker on this site is as bad as stealing. The Tories took food out of the mouths of more than 36,000 people after they said they had halted benefit sanctions. Ongoing sanctions were allowed to run on after the Covid-19 lockdown began. Some of the people affected were left with no money at all, and some had been deprived of their income for nine…

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Cynical: Tories pilot 30-minute phone appointments for ‘claimant commitment’ interviews – to impose sanctions quicker?

Isn’t it amazing how the Tories can go straight into action on some plans, while others take forever? So we see them testing fast-track phone interviews lasting a brief 30 minutes to get up-to-date claimant commitments for Universal Credit claimants. This is because the Tories promised not to sanction anybody’s Universal Credit payments until up-to-date claimant commitments were established. They had suspended conditions attached to receipt of Universal Credit during March, meaning that the millions who have claimed the so-called benefit since then have never been subjected to the sanctions…

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Defence secretary phoned Saudi Arabia to apologise for human rights sanctions – claim

Typical two-faced Tories – they say one thing to us and a completely different thing to their warmongering buddies abroad. In this case, it seems UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace phoned up a Saudi defence minister to renew the UK’s support for the regime there and its work – which we must take as including its genocidal war against Yemen. This happened just one day after the UK announced sanctions on individuals from Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. Here’s The Independent: The UK government privately showered Saudi Arabia’s government with praise a day…

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Benefit sanctions achieve little more than increasing anxiety and depression – LSE

Benefit sanctions lead to increases in claimants’ anxiety and depression, and a re-assessment of the role of sanctions is needed as the UK slowly emerges from lockdown – according to the London School of Economics. According to a recent assessment, current sanctions policy can be considered to be ‘cruel, inhuman and degrading’. Importantly, there are straightforward steps that can be implemented to minimise the harms associated with sanctions and to help realise the basic right to a social minimum. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) should … assess the impacts…

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Covid-19-related Universal Credit claimants will face sanctions for first time

If you’ve claimed Universal Credit as a result of the Covid-19 crisis – brace yourself! From June 30, you’ll be under threat of sanction if you can’t prove you’re actively seeking work. The Tory government is reimposing the threat of sanctions as it lifts lockdown restrictions – because Boris Johnson and his cronies intend to use the stick to get us back at work rather than the carrot. A lot of people are about to realise how awful claiming #UniversalCredit is #covid19 https://t.co/5WNbCEv4Wg — Charlotte Hughes. The Poor Side Of…

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Benefit sanctions have NOT been suspended – as Universal Credit claimant found out the hard way

Remember when we were all told benefit sanctions would be suspended for three months during the coronavirus lockdown? That seems to have been a lie, as 23-year-old ‘Ben’ discovered after waiting a month for a payment: Ben, 23, had been sanctioned earlier in the year for being unable to find work, however, like payment holidays for homeowners and furlough for the employed, he believed the freeze would be lifted to support struggling households during the pandemic. Last Thursday, [his] family who had waited an entire week to do their food…

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Suspend benefit cap to protect disabled people in coronavirus crisis? It’ll never happen under Tories!

It’s a good, solid, practical suggestion: with disabled people most at risk of financial loss during the coronavirus crisis, the government should suspend the penalties it has imposed on them in the last 10 years. These include the benefit cap and the “two-child policy” for benefits relating to children. Also suggested by the Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC) is conversion of the Universal Credit advance loan into a non-repayable grant. In fact, the DBC requests the suspension of all debt repayment deductions from UC. And the organisation calls on the government…

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

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…

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Why are we learning about disabled Errol Graham TWO YEARS after the DWP stopped his benefits and he starved to death?

Someone did a good job of hushing up this abomination. If John Pring hadn’t reported the inquest on Disability News Service, we might never have learned how the Department for Work and Pensions ignored its own safeguarding advice to deprive Errol Graham of his benefits. Left with no income, Mr Graham starved to death. He had been receiving incapacity benefit, and then ESA, for many years as a result of enduring mental distress that had led to him being sectioned. The DWP stopped Mr Graham’s Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) entitlement…

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