The full extent of the brutal effects of the new sanctions regime have been revealed. In the past year over 18,000 people in Leeds have been sanctioned by Job Centre staff.
And whilst the government denies any knowledge of league tables and targets for sanctions, whistleblowers in job centres around the country are revealing the full extent of the target culture in the DWP, with advisors who do not sanction enough people every month threatened with disciplinary action and the threat of losing their jobs.
Sanctions can be imposed on those on Jobseekers’ Allowance as well as those on Employment Support Allowance and can lead to a loss of benefit for up to 3 years.
Some examples of the ridiculous sanctions imposed on those desperately looking for work include:
- arriving minutes late to a job centre meeting;
- not applying for a job when waiting to start a new job;
- missing an appointment on the day of the funeral of a close family member.
Sanctions lead only to misery and poverty. When people have zero income and are struggling to feed themselves and their families, how can they even begin to look for work? These draconian measures are used by the government to create a climate of fear amongst not only claimants forced to jump through hoop after hoop, but the staff imposing the sanctions.
In just 2 years over 2 million sanctions have been imposed across the country. This national scandal must be stopped. This is why Unite Community has called a national day of action against sanctions on March 19th.
Let’s end the misery – join us on March 19th to say ‘No to sanctions’! Further details to follow.
If you have been sanctioned and need help appealing against it, visit us in one of our brand new community support centres in Leeds. Watch this site for further details of opening date and times.
Unite Community activist