Now working part-time, volunteers part-time. Cares what happens to UK society full-time
Can I start by thanking everyone for your efforts for the National Day of Action against benefit sanctions. There are over 80 actions planned across the UK from Glasgow in the North to Truro in the South.
For more details please use the link below
It is in the interest of all that the PCS is strong within DWP and we must support them in return. This is a joint battle against these vicious policies which are being waged against our welfare state and those that rely on it.
For those of you who will be demonstrating outside Job Centres please can I ask that you respect the workers in DWP. We are fighting against the Policies of the most right wing government in living memory not our fellow workers who are forced, often through intimidation, to implement these policies.
Below is some information on how to deal with any questions you have from the media or the general public, please use it.
Media questions for Day of Action
What are benefit sanctions and why are they wrong?
Benefit sanctions are when claimants make mistakes such as turning up a few minutes late for job centre interview or they haven’t applied for enough jobs in a given week. They lose their benefits for a minimum of one month.
Benefit sanctions are cruel and don’t work.
Benefit sanctions have affected 10,000s of children. These children have done nothing wrong yet are being punished because of often petty slip-ups by their parents.
There have been half a million sanctions in the last 12 months forcing people into the hands of payday lenders, foodbanks and relying on their friends and family.
Unite are demanding an end to benefit sanctions.
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The government say sanctions get people off the dole and into work.
No they don’t. There is no real evidence to support this. In fact by taking away people’s only means of survival people find it harder to get work. How can you perform well at an interview if you are hungry or haven’t been able to have a warm shower because your heating has been cut off.
It is a myth that people chose a life of benefits – people to not chose a live of poverty. You don’t chose not to be able to afford to buy shoes for your kids, or to ever have a holiday.
People want to work and want to contribute to society.
What should the government be doing?
Provide genuine help for people trying to get jobs – skills training, help with CV writing and how to perform well at interviews.
Help employers provide decent jobs by targeted support for business
A jobs programme – where the government invest in businesses so that they can take on unemployed people and get them back into work.
Attached is also the SW press release that has been distributed.
The day of action also sees Gill Thompson whose brother, David Clapson, died after being sanctioned will be handing in the petition calling on the prime minister David Cameron, to implement a ‘broad and independent’ review of benefit sanctions as per the recommendations of the Work and Pensions select committee.
Mr Clapson, a diabetic ex-soldier, died starving in 2013 because he was penalised by the Jobcentre for missing a meeting. His body was found surrounded by CVs and his electricity had been cut off making his insulin unusable. His sister has been campaigning for an inquiry into his death.
Finally, please can you all get lots of photos for our social media pages and tweet about the actions including the hashtag #No2Sanctions.
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