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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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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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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Trump trade war threat over tax shows the drawbacks of globalisation

This is awkward, with Boris Johnson desperate to get a trade deal between the UK and the USA. Donald Trump is threatening reprisals if Johnson goes ahead with a plan to tax US tech corporations like Google and Facebook on profits they make from UK customers. This Writer understands that it is possible to prevent foreign tech companies from operating in the UK – don’t China and North Korea do this? But if the UK did this, then the US government could impose crippling sanctions on this country. The simple…

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If Johnson thinks he can renege on his Brexit deal, he’s about to get a big wake-up call

Boris Johnson seems to think he’s the naughty boy of international politics. You can just hear him: “Bah! I said we’d impose a border in the middle of the Irish Sea – but I didn’t mean it! What a jape! And what are they going to do? Don’t they know we’re British?” That is precisely the point, of course. Being British, he is in no position to go disregarding conditions of his Brexit deal. If he does, he’ll lose something he wants – like… I don’t know… favourable terms on…

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Universal Credit sanction led to miscarriages, drug addiction and jail

In the light of this story, how do Tories justify benefit sanctions, again? Danielle John, of Wales, suffered a miscarriage at work the day before she was due to attend a Universal Credit interview with the Department for Work and Pensions. As a result, she was unable to attend the interview and forgot to notify the DWP – justifiably, as any reasonable person would say. The DWP disagreed. It seems the decision to take £10.40 per day from her benefit for 229 days – £72.80 per week or £2,381.60 for…

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Don’t believe Boris Johnson on benefits – he is only offering more poverty, misery and death

Boris Johnson has finally published the Conservative manifesto amid a stink of embarrassment – and, for benefit claimants, a hard slap of insult. Mr Johnson offers just one promise to benefit claimants – to reduce the frequency of Personal Independence Payment reassessments –  and I don’t believe it. If Tories target a disabled person to lose their benefit, they will find an excuse to do so. Scheduled reassessments may be cut – but Mrs Mike has been threatened with random reassessments on many occasions, triggered by any reason the DWP…

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