Wednesday, 11 December 2013

How Do You Live When Sanctioned?

     How do you cope if you are on Jobseeker's Allowance and you get “sanctioned”? Quite frankly, you don't, you can't possibly, unless you can dip into a nice bankbook, which in the circumstances is most unlikely. It's a matter of begging, borrowing, stealing or doing without. After all Jobseeker's Allowance doesn't let you save for a rainy day. Losing the pittance that you rely on to survive, even for a few months, can tip you over the edge. This policy is brutal, inhumane and totally unjust, and belongs to, what should be, a bygone era of peasants and serfs. In a civilised society, nobody should be treated in that manner or forced in to that situation.
       That babbling brook of bullshit, the mainstream media, is quiet on this matter of sanctions, far be it for them to reveal the truth of what life is like for the ordinary people, too many celebrities to pander to, and splash across their pages. However on the streets in the real world, where you and I live, the number of people being sanctioned is growing, we now have an army of people being brutally abused in this way. What is more, it is not just the Department of Work and Pensions that are willy-nilly throwing about santions, the companies that are involved in the workfare scheme are referring people to be sanctioned. Not content with getting the labour free, they want sweat and blood.
Sanctioning – stopping someone’s benefits after a perceived infringement of the terms of their claim for between one week and six months – was a favourite policy of the previous government but figures revealed by Corporate Watch and the Observer today show the coalition, together with sub-contracted private ‘provider’ companies, has massively increased the amount of sanctions imposed.
To download as a pdf click here.
Read a personal experience of being sanctioned here.

      139,000 sanctions were handed out to Jobseeker’s Allowance* claimants in 2009 but this more than tripled to 508,000 in 2011, the coalition’s first full calendar year in government. There was little change in the number of people signing on in this period, meaning a much higher proportion of people have had their benefits cut. In February 2011 for example, 1.44 million people were claiming JSA compared to 1.42 million in 2009. 51,000 sanctions were imposed in the former month, compared to 9,000 in the latter.
       Many of these sanctions are initially suggested, or ‘referred’, to the Department of Work and Pensions by the private companies the government has sub-contracted to run many of its welfare schemes, such as the flagship Work Programme, for people who have been signing on for a year or more. DWP statistics, obtained by a Corporate Watch freedom of information request (download the disclosure here), show companies such as Serco, Seetec, Working Links and A4E have been even more eager to sanction people than the government.
      The companies referred over 110,000 cases to the DWP for sanctioning between the start of the Work Programme in June 2011 up to January 2012, the last month figures were available (they do not have the power to sanction but they can suggest claims should be sanctioned to the DWP, which then decides whether the reasons given by the provider are appropriate).
Read the full report HERE:
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