|Toxic tories create thuggery against the poor while featherbedding the rich
|THE TORY CUTS ARE KILLING VIDEO
| DWP don't want filmed in the way they treat the sick and disabled VIDEO
|Barred from the JobCentre by G4S Police Involved for Using my Mobile Phone in an Authorised Area VIDEO
The highly paid private state thugs G4S running Britain's youth detention centres
In Britain CCTV stalks you down every high street until you
come to the front door of any British court as once instead only THEY can film.
The DWP / Job Centre make the disabled STAND in queues for sufficient time to let them
guage how disabled they are. They also film and take images of the claimants and
then use those images to search CCTV databases to find the most paltry of evidence to
sanction a victim of their sinister stasi style spying network.
G4S have a long history of abusing young boys in Youth detention centres and with a
tory mafia paying them millions for the privilege.
After speaking with the Job Centre Manager, she has subsequently informed me (recorded) that
I was NEVER Barred from the Job Centre, despite the Police Officers telling me the EXACT Opposite.
The Job Centre Manager was NOT even aware of this Incident !! She explained to me that Group4Security
NOR herself have the AUTHORITY to bar ANYONE from the Job Centre.
This CAN ONLY be performed by the DWP
Solicitors AND after a serious Criminal Incident. I was also informed that no one has ever been
barred from that Job Centre before. So, Authority was ASSUMED where there is none to be had. Lies,
threats and intimidation by BOTH G4S and the POLICE !! Who is accountable ??
See how it works yet ?
Do NOT accept ANYTHING they say as it is all LIES to INTIMIDATE you !!
They Job Centre are also confirming the Policy of Filming WITHIN the Job Centre as, once again, no one really knows. They just make it up as they go along. Here is my point in relation to this....it is a Public Place and they are filming you (CCTV) for their record and safety. Who or what authority can then say that you cannot do the same ?
As far as I am aware, there is also no sign telling you that you cannot film in the JC+. There is one for Dogs, Food and Drink, Smoking, Mobile Phones etc but nothing for Cameras.
So, before calling me a lazy, dole scum, ask yourself this..........
IF you were ever to find yourself in the same position, how would you like to be treated by the PUBLIC SERVANTS who YOU pay (or have paid) to be EMPLOYED to perform that role for YOU ?
I will post the video confirming all of the above to be TRUE and FACTUAL.
After asking if I could use the phone at the top of stairs in the Job Centre and getting the Authority (sic) to do so,
I was then told by 2 different Group 4 Security Guards that I was not allowed to use my phone, at the top of stairs,
where thier colleague had previously told me that I could. I refused their orders to "put the phone down" !
Only then to be confronted, after requesting "back up", by 6 BIG Security Guards !! Surely, enough of a situation to present "alarm and distress" to anyone ! I was digusted and frightened at the way I was being treated in a Public Building. Therefore, I voluntarily left the building and deposited all of the DWP/JCP correspondence I had with the person on the Front Desk and assertively indicated that I wish to withdraw my application for Benefit due to the conditions they were applying and abusing my Rights as a Human Being. Lets just take into account here, in a Job Centre you cannot eat, drink, use the toilet or use your mobile phone. If you raise your voice, you are confronted with Guards and intimidate until you stop. Human or Prisoner ?
Anyhoo, I was then assaulted off the premises by the Security Guards and the Police were called.
This is where the vdeo begins...........
Despite the Building being PUBLIC, I have now been told I am not allowed to enter it because a Private Organisation has told me I cannot. Think of that for one second.......
Due to THEIR ERROR, I now CANNOT enter a PUBLIC BUILDING on the Authority of no one other than someone who is physically bigger than I am and is threatening my safety should I attempt to enter the Public Building !
The People who made the Complaint to the Police are ALL PUBLIC SERVANTS acting under the Civil Service Code. They are ACCOUNTABLE to YOU & I. The Police who came are ACCOUNTABLE to you or I.
How can a Benefit that is RIGHTFULLY mine anyway, that I have paid for with my Bond (and with hundreds of thousands paid to them in taxes during my, completely unemployed 26 year TAX PAYING career) by given with Conditions ?
In summary, I was NOT ARRESTED. Why ? Because I had done nothing wrong ! I was forced to leave by Physically BIGGER men than me despite me having every right to be there. If that sounds right to you, then I am afraid you need to Wake Up !! Don't wait for you bubble to be burst before you react ! (like I did) Take Control of your own destiny. Know your rights and see how they are being abused EVERY SINGLE DAY !! Why ? Because you believe they have these rights and they put the FEAR into you. Educate yourselves, please. This is all wrong.
|Sanctioning a zionist / freemason tool to force compliance with their evil agenda
FULL ARTICLE HERE
Threatened With A Benefit Sanction For Going To Hospital? Now It’s Government Policy
Sanctioning has been used to force Middle East countries with oil to comply with the demands of the masonic run west. Now it is used on the general public where in Britain the poorest and most destitute are forced to bend under a sanctioning regime that demands if rules the political mafia impose to obtain any form of state assistance are NOT rigidly adhered to that meagre pittance will be removed at a stroke.
We have thousands dying yearly from draconian tory rules that are regularly bent by their DWP / ATOS lackeys that see ten of thousands being manipulated to believe they have failed to comply with the sanctioning system and then find themselves out on the street with no roof over their head and no means to survive. Many decide an easier option is to commit suicide and a new way for the tory fascists to bring about a Nazi style final solution without any need for gas chambers .
Sanctioning is being used by the ruling mafia to bring country after country and citizen after citizen to their knees to produce some sort of compliant zombies who are forced to live life at the edge and who are easily manipulated into the New World Order mindset with corporate state assassins only to happy to use psychological and financial torture to push anyone vulnerable to attack into an early grave.
But only if we let 'em.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
|'Fitness to work' assessments are brutal, says daughter of man who killed himself
FULL ARTICLE HERE
Britain CLAIMS to have some sort of democracy yet presently we have a bunch of murdering
psychopaths dictating policy that would make Hitler look like a moderate. Victims dying
from the psychological torture of the disabled and vulnerable. Divorcing men are well
aware of the use of that torture during separation when the same financial and
mental persecution is inflicted by a rogue legal system . Both the political and legal arms
of Britain are controlled by ruthless posh boys who are groomed at the Queen's
brainwashing centre at Eton next door to her Windsor castle and end up in ALL the key positions
of power. Coincidence?????????
Family of Michael O’Sullivan, who killed himself after losing his incapacity benefit, say Work Capability Assessment process is broken and unsafe
Michael O’ Sullivan was a family man who wanted to do the right thing. A builder, from Highgate in north London, he worked hard for his family until severe mental health problems made it impossible. But despite being signed off work by his GP after he was diagnosed with depression, O’Sullivan was ruled fit for work at the age of 60 by Department for Work and Pensions assessors. He killed himself on 24 September 2013.
O’Sullivan’s case caused outrage in September after it emerged a coroner had ruled his suicide was triggered by intense anxiety caused by his experience with the controversial work capability assessment (WCA) process.
On Wednesday, O’Sullivan’s case was highlighted once again, in parliament at prime minister’s questions by the SNP MP Angus Robertson, as one of 60 suicides that may have been linked to benefit changes. But the O’Sullivan family are still waiting for answers.
His daughter, Anne-Marie O’ Sullivan, has spoken to the Guardian about the events that led up to his death and called for WCAs to be halted.
“Even two years on, the pain we feel is still immeasurable,” she said. “That void will remain with us always.” The significance of the coroner’s finding was, she said, “traumatic and heart-wrenching” for her and her family.
Her father had suffered from low self-esteem, anxiety and depression all his life, she said, but he managed to work. “He was very practical,” said Anne-Marie. “On building sites, they’d say Micky O’ Sullivan would always find a solution.
“Depression had always been a part of him. We grew up with it as children. He was always very nervous and shy, socially awkward. But he was tall, dark and handsome and he was very kind. He would do lots of decorating and gardening jobs for my older brother, Declan, and I.”
But in 2000 his mental health problems grew worse and he had to stop work and moved on to sickness benefit. He remained very much a part of the family.
Anne-Marie, who was very close to her father, noticed a big downturn in his mood from August 2012, around the time he was first ruled fit for work after a work capability assessment. O’Sullivan’s incapacity benefit was stopped, he was put on jobseeker’s allowance, told to attend Kentish Town job centre, to write his CV and send it out to employers. After the assessment, O’Sullivan became anxious about the future.
“If you look at builders now, they are strong, young lads. You don’t see many builders at the age of 60,” Anne-Marie said.
“He was afraid his house would be taken away. He would say: ‘I won’t survive on the streets.’ My brother and I would never let it get to that. We loved him very much, we would do anything we needed to do to care for him. But he was very independent.”
In November 2012, he agreed to go on a training programme to get his CSCS, a certificate that is now necessary to work on a building site.
“Dad was sent to a college in Tottenham. There were 60 or 70 kids in his group, all young. He said they mocked him and called him names. That’s just how young kids are, but for someone like dad, who had really low self-esteem, he was in a terrible state about it. Being around young ones, he was out of his depth. He had real fears he wouldn’t find work at the end of the placement.”
After a week of the course, O’ Sullivan tried to kill himself, Anne-Marie said.
After the failed attempt, O’Sullivan’s GP signed him off work for six months, and he was given a place on a mental health treatment programme, which included cognitive behavioural therapy. Tragically, delays meant the first appointment came in October 2012, two days after his funeral.
O’Sullivan appealed against the WCA decision that found him fit for work, but he was called to a second WCA assessment a few months later, in March 2013.
Anne-Marie said her father became increasingly low after his the secondassessment. O’Sullivan mentioned his thoughts of suicide on his Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) form, and that should have prompted a call for further medical evidence, but his assessor did not ask him about it. A psychiatrist had diagnosed him with recurrent depression and a panic disorder associated with agoraphobia, and a clinical psychologist had assessed him as anxious and depressed. Though O’ Sullivan had a GP note signing him off work for six months following his suicide attempt, he was not asked for it.
Nevertheless, his incapacity benefit was taken away, at which point he was put on jobseeker’s allowance and once again told to find work.
“Imagine sending your CV off, countless times and getting no response. It added to that worthless feeling,” said Anne-Marie. “He was mindful that he had received the support of the benefits for 12 years. He was grateful. But he’d say, ‘It can’t go on forever.’”
Anne-Marie and her father used to go out together, to take walks on Hampstead heath, which reminded him of home in southern Ireland, she said. But he stopped going outside and grew increasingly more anxious. He struggled with wanting to work, with a feeling of worthlessness, she said.
“He seemed determined to get back to work,” she said, “but he had been locked away on his own for 10 years. He felt this pressure to leave his safe space.”
Two or three weeks before his death, O’Sullivan lost interest in everything he loved to do, according to his daughter. He never listened to the news and would sit in the cold, afraid to heat his flat.
The night her father died, Anne-Marie found five immaculately pressed shirts, a hard hat and brand new steel-capped work boots behind his bedroom door. He had been preparing to attend a four-week work placement that had been found for him.
She believes the WCA process is unsafe and should be halted, until a “fairer and more transparent” system is found.
At the inquest into her father’s death, the doctor who assessed him admitted he did not ask him whether he had thoughts of suicide, despite the fact that O’ Sullivan had written it on his DWP assessment form.
Anne-Marie said: “Under oath at the inquest, the doctor said he did not ask him if he had any ideas of self-harm.
“This is a doctor who has failed to ask the question, yet he has noted ‘no ideas of self-harm’ on his form in three different places. Not just once. That feels criminal. And yet they made him feel like he was a criminal, like he was a bad person.”
Giving her narrative verdict in January 2014, Mary Hassell, the senior coroner at O’Sullivan’s inquest in north London said: “[His] anxiety and depression were long-term problems but the intense anxiety that triggered his suicide was caused by his recent assessment by the [DWP] as being fit for work, and his view of the likely consequences of that.”
In a separate prevention of future deaths report, Hassell added: “I found that the trigger for Mr O’Sullivan’s suicide was his recent assessment by a DWP doctor as being fit for work.
“In my opinion, there is a risk that future deaths will occur unless action is taken.”
In its response to Hassell’s concerns, the DWP claimed that its policy on seeking further evidence when those being assessed mentioned suicide “regrettably was not followed in this case”.
Anne-Marie’s interview comes as it emerged that a UN inquiry is investigating alleged violations of disabled people’s human rights as a result of welfare reforms.
Distraught at the loss of her adored father, she said she had been unable to move on and believed that the DWP should stop WCAs for vulnerable people.
She said: “Despite the DWP admitting to ‘regrettable mistakes’, our understanding is that the WCA system is still unsafe, so why have ministers taken no action, more than two years after dad died?
“These people have to be held accountable. I’d like them to apologise, not to me or my brother but to my mum for what they put her through. I want them to stop this treatment of vulnerable people. It’s brutal treatment. I don’t want another family to lose a loved one the way we have, to go through the suffering we have.
“Dad was one of 60-odd cases where suicide has been linked to benefit changes. That’s way too many lives.
“This assessment process is broken and unsafe and I urge the government to halt the WCA immediately until a more transparent and fairer system can be found.”
| UK draconian welfare reforms instigated by the tory scum to be investigated by United Nations
The United Nations will investigate UK welfare reforms and equal rights policies as part of a planned review.
FULL ARTICLE HERE
A committee will look at the government's welfare changes and unemployment policies to see if they "disproportionately affect" the rights of disadvantaged and vulnerable people.
The review, part of a regular cycle of examinations, will be the first undertaken since 2009.
The findings will be published next June.
As part of the examination of government policies, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) has requested further information on more than 30 issues.
The committee will examine whether measures have targeted certain groups such as disabled people, ethnic minorities or those on low incomes.
A UN spokeswoman said the CESCR would review the UK and six other countries.
"It is not an investigation or inquiry launched in response to a particular situation or at the request of a third party," she added.
The review is being carried out because the UK signed up to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Areas under examination will include:
Austerity measures and welfare reform
Unemployment policies and the national minimum wage
The government's proposed Bill of Rights, which is intended to replace the Human Rights Act
Supply of social and affordable housing
Childcare, child poverty and food bank use
Availability of mental health services
Higher education policies and fees
Northern Ireland legislation on abortion
Essential services for asylum seekers
Policies to tackle domestic violence, human trafficking, forced marriages and female genital mutilation
Gypsy and traveller access to basic services and education
Earlier this month members of the Just Fair coalition, which campaigns for "social justice in the UK", met CESCR representatives.
Just Fair members said they were concerned government policies had "led to violations of the right to food, housing, adequate healthcare for migrants and people with mental health problems and the economic and social rights of disabled people".
Just Fair chairman Jamie Burton said the UN review was "timely and welcome".
"We and many others are concerned about the adverse impact austerity policies have had on the least well off and already marginalised in society, including those in work," he said.
"In the one of the richest countries in the world people do not have enough food to eat or decent housing to live in.
"Worst of all, the measures have hit children, single mothers and people with disabilities the hardest. As the tax credits scandal shows, the public is turning against these policies precisely because they are so unfair."
The government is aiming to cut annual welfare spending by £12bn, in line with a Conservative manifesto pledge.
A government spokesman said: "This is not an investigation but a routine request for information that occurs every few years as part of the periodic reporting process to the UN.
"We are committed to protecting the most vulnerable in society. The UK government continues to support millions of people on benefits with an £80bn working-age welfare safety net in place."
The UN review is separate from an ongoing investigation by the UN's Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which is looking at whether the government's disability benefit reforms breached the rights of disabled people.
|DWP civil servants used to utterly abuse the unemployed VIDEO
| Michael O’Sullivan, 60, commited suicide after being hounded back to work by the DWP
The tory's mass murdering assassination squads working inside the DWP are part of the evil freemason
bully boy network that impacts on every citizen of Britain and includes every victim of
the psychological torture imposed by draconian sanctions.
FULL ARTICLE HERE
Disability rights campaigners hit out after coroner rules disabled Scot's suicide was triggered by welfare cuts
A CORONER described the 'trigger' for Michael O'Sullivan taking his own life was being hounded back to work by the DWP.
SCOTTISH disability rights campaigners have hit out after welfare cuts were blamed for the death of a disabled man.
Michael O’Sullivan, 60, killed himself after being hounded back to work by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).
A coroner later said the “trigger” for his suicide was assessments that passed him as fit to work.
Today, the patient-led Black Triangle campaign called on the General Medical Council (GMC) to step in to help those failed by the system.
Dr Stephen Carty, who advises the group, told the National: “This is a very serious case, for a coroner to say that the patient committed suicide, it really is incumbent on the GMC to take some leadership here."
Michael, from north London, suffered mental health problems and was receiving income support relating to his disability.
But the payments were stopped after a GP assessed him in 2012 and 2013.
He was still receiving jobseeker’s allowance until his death last year.
Dr Carty continued: “If you take this [DWP] doctor who had not done an adequate risk assessment, ignored further medical evidence and when the information is provided by the claimant not asked about suicide risk, not passed it up the chain to the medical advisor and has just made what with hindsight is a very ill-informed decision.
“This doctor, in order to be able to continue to practise, has to go through revalidation where a responsible officer reviews his or her work and whether they have core competencies and also to whom he must report any complaint.”
A DWP spokesman (anonymous as usual) said they take the matter “extremely seriously”.
The UK Government admitted mistakes in the case and improvements are being made.
|Tory scum's 'Benefit sanctions harmed my mental health' VIDEO
|Welfare reform: death and the benefit system
What an irony for Iain Duncan Smith to get all stern about people being too casual about causality. The welfare secretary was rapped over the knuckles for bragging that his benefit cap had spurred claimants to move into jobs they’d likely have got anyway, but this week he became a model of rigor when he had to release figures about people who had died in and around the harsh process of claiming incapacity benefits. “Any causal effects,” his department warned, “cannot be assumed.”
FULL ARTICLE HERE
Strictly speaking, that is correct. The information released on Thursday does not join any dots between the anxiety of undergoing a “work capability assessment” (WCA) and the spiral of mental and physical decline which comes across in cases like that of Moira Drury, the sick woman whom we reported on Friday had died while battling a Department for Work and Pensions bent on cutting off her money, a connection which would – presumably – come across, too, in the internal reviews of 40 suspected suicide cases which the department hasn’t published.
But if the DWP wanted to aid interpretation of the 40,680 individuals who had died within a year of their WCA, it could have included all sorts of contextual information with the figures. Instead, after fighting tooth and nail against the releasing the information at all, the numbers came in such sparse form that they were hard to make sense of. Whitehall always likes to leave awkward MPs and FoI requesters wishing they’d asked a slightly different question.
On the same day, however, the DWP released a second, and more instructive, study of death rates more widely. The department was keen to highlight how, like everyone else, people on benefits have recently been living longer. But the report also revealed the grim reaper’s particular tendency to intrude upon incapacity benefit claimants. At one level, this is not surprising – these are all people with serious health problems. But excess mortality was not restricted to the very sickest; death rates were also more than double the average among that medically more marginal group, who are these days obliged to take certain steps to prepare for work. These are the people that Mr Duncan Smith had in his sights at the start of the week, when he gave a speech about requiring more people to work.
Treading carefully in welfare reform really can be a matter of life and death. Sadly, careful treading isn’t the Duncan Smith way. Against expert advice, he rammed through the WCA – which he now suggests needs another overhaul – at breakneck speed. He lost control of a caseload that had previously been falling, and his universal credit is so far off-track that it will not be completed during this parliament.
Amid such chaos, it’s tempting to improvise. But the bitter lesson of the last few years is that it’s better to pause, take stock and think things through. Instead of a silly season speech, there should be a green paper, then a white paper, and only then – if there’s a plan that makes sense – action. The alternative is pressing ahead, in a spirit of do and die.
|Peasants under the vile tory austerity boot
|Tory gangsters and the trail of the dead
FULL ARTICLE HERE
Tory henchman Iain Duncan Smith
David O'Mar was declared fit for work - and died two days later
32 benefit claimants die a week
Some 250,000 people signed a petition calling for the figures to be released
MP Debbie Abrahams has pushed for the figures to be released
There's been widespread fury as the Tories finally released the total today - only after 250,000 furious people signed a petition.
THESE ARE THE SCUM AND FILTH WHO ARE PUSHING THE PEASANTS INTO AN EARLY GRAVE.
More than 2,500 sick and disabled benefit claimants have died after being found 'fit for work' in just two years, shock figures reveal today.
The Tories have finally released the total - burying it under immigration figures - after 250,000 furious people signed a petition calling on them to end the cover-up.
Iain Duncan Smith's officials tried to stop the figures being released in full, mounting a legal challenge to publish only 'age-standardised' numbers instead.
The stand-off saw him launch a blistering attack on Labour MPs including Debbie Abrahams, who've been demanding the figures for months.
But he's now performed a U-turn and issued the devastating figures today.
They show 2,650 benefit claimants died shortly after being found 'fit for work' between December 2011 and February 2014.
The figures also appear to show more than half (1,360) had appealed the decision to throw them off sickness benefits before they died.
Nearly all the deaths (2,380) were people on Employment and Support Allowance - which the Work and Pensions Secretary claims is meant to be a 'short-term' benefit.
The rest (270) were on Incapacity Benefit (IB) or Severe Disablement Allowance (SDA).
They were told to come off the benefit and transfer onto the lower-rate jobseekers' allowance - despite some being badly disabled.
Tragic cases included diabetic dad David O’Mar, 58, who died just two weeks after being declared fit for work - a case Labour's Kate Green raised at the despatch box.
The 'frightening and disgusting' figures have been slammed by Jeremy Corbyn, who said Iain Duncan Smith should resign.
Labour leadership rival Andy Burnham added: "These are shocking figures that for the first time show the human cost of this Government's punishing benefits regime.
"It raises serious questions about this Government's punitive approach to people on benefits."
Shadow work and pensions minister Kate Green said: "These figures should be a wake-up call for the Government. Ministers need to focus on sorting out the assessment process so that everyone can have confidence in it, and providing support for disabled people who can work in order to help them do so."
And Labour MP Debbie Abrahams, who's campaigned on the issue, said: "The Government should be ashamed.
"They should also apologise to claimants and families of those that have died for the distress they must have caused."
Mencap spokesman Rob Holland, who leads the Disability Benefits Consortium, demanded an investigation and reform over the figures.
"We know the fit for work test is failing disabled people with devastating consequences," he said.
"Wrong decisions can mean people are left with little or no support at all, in some cases struggling to pay for their homes and basic essentials like food and heating."
Tom Pollard of mental health charity Mind added: "Some of those we represent are so worried about losing their financial support that they contemplate taking, or attempt to take, their own lives."
It's not been made clear how soon the claimants died after coming off sickness benefits.
Officials have also refused to give a measure of how the deaths compare to the population at large.
Other figures today show another 6,700 ESA claimants died in two years after being put in the 'work-related activity group', meaning they could move towards a job.
They were more than twice as likely to die as people in the general population - around 5 deaths per 1,000 people compared to 2.4.
That's despite the Budget docking that same group's benefits by £30 a week, making them the same as people on jobseekers' allowance.
Today's mammoth release covers 11 years of data from 2003 to 2014 and shows overall death rates among benefit claimants have fallen.
Deaths among all benefits claimants have fallen from 8.2 per 1,000 people in 2003 to 7.2 per 1,000 people in 2013.
The national rate is around 2.4 per 1,000 people.
Tories claim it's 'irresponsible' to draw a link between someone dying and their benefits being stopped.
The last figures were released by the DWP in 2012 after a Freedom of Information campaign by the Mirror's investigative team.
They showed 1,300 ESA claimants died within six weeks of being placed in a 'work-related activity' group between January and November 2011.
In April the Department for Work and Pensions was ordered to release fresh figures by the Information Commissioner watchdog.
But instead of releasing them it appealed to a tribunal with a letter that says the real number of deaths is 'likely to be misinterpreted'.
Officials added: "Incorrect conclusions were likely to be drawn as to causal links between assessment outcomes and mortality.
"Such misinterpretations would be contrary to the public interest, particularly given the emotive and sensitive context of mortality statistics."
The department now appears to have reversed that decision.
A DWP spokesman said today: "The mortality rate for people who have died while claiming an out-of-work benefit has fallen over a 10-year period.
"This is in line with the mortality rate for the general working-age population.
"The Government continues to support millions of people on benefits with an £80bn working-age welfare safety net in place."
|Scrap all benefit sanctions (before anymore die)
A SCOTTISH MP yesterday demanded an immediate halt to all benefit sanctions.
FULL ARTICLE HERE
The SNP’s Dr Eilidh Whiteford issued the call in the wake of a Jobcentre whistleblower’s revelations in the Record that workers are under pressure from bosses to stop claimants’ money.
Half of all Jobseeker’s Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance sanctions are overturned on review – but not before they plunge desperate people into further hardship.
Whiteford’s demand in a letter to Minister for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith also follows the exposure of how the DWP shamelessly fabricated success stories for a leaflet.
In the letter, Whiteford tells Smith a “root and branch” independent review of sanctions must be carried out immediately.
She said yesterday: “There is clearly a culture of pressure within the DWP which forces staff to refer people for sanctions for fear of retribution against themselves.
“Staff should instead be encouraged to make decisions which are well thought out in the first place.
“We learned that half of all ESA and JSA sanctions were overturned when reviewed, which just goes to show that there is a crisis at the heart of this discredited system and the DWP.
“I have asked for the publication of all sanctions decisions for every centre across the UK so that the full picture of the apparent shambles within the DWP can be revealed.
“All sanctions need to be halted immediately until a fundamental root and branch independent review of the DWP’s sanctions and conditionality can be carried out.”
The brutal sanctions regime used against the most vulnerable Scots by the DWP has been blamed for creating a “humanitarian crisis”.
The Daily Record revealed the truth about Iain Duncan Smith’s sanctions policy when our whistleblower laid bare to us the culture within Jobcentre Plus. It includes:
*Bosses under pressure to keep sanction numbers up
*Staff living in fear that low sanction numbers could affect their assessment
*Vulnerable people become easy targets because they are confused by the system.
*Ambitious staff who want to get on are handing out more sanctions than others.
Whistleblower Liz (not her real name) said: “It disgusts me how vulnerable people are treated.
“The bosses don’t set any specific written targets but they are not pleased if you don’t have any sanctions in a week.
“Some staff worry if they don’t have any. That’s what makes the vulnerable an easy target.”
Tony Cox, of the Dundee-based Scottish Unemployed Workers Network, has collated details of sanctions since early last year.
He said: “The Record has done a great job in getting a DWP employee to speak out in print because it is undoubtedly true that staff are under pressure to hit targets.
“And it is also true that the most vulnerable people are those most likely to be hit by sanctions.
“I think we’re actually on the edge of a humanitarian crisis in Dundee.
“Some of the most vulnerable people in this city are basically not being protected.
“In actual fact, I would say they are being preyed upon by the so-called welfare system.
“They are sanctioning at the drop of a hat if you’re 10 minutes late for an appointment.
“This is not hyperbole. We are seeing hundreds of people in Dundee alone hit by sanctions.
“They are being put into crisis and then kept in crisis.
“We believe people are being targeted as an easy hit because of their demographic profile.
“We found people with low level mental health issues, learning difficulties, the socially vulnerable, and older men with no families are most likely to suffer sanctions.
“We also found people being released from prison and then sanctioned by the DWP for simple errors when confronted with this system.
“Staff are given assessments and if they are not sanctioning … it can lead to poor assessments, which can then lead to disciplinary action.
“Since we began campaigning early last year against these sanctions we have seen the sanctioning rate in Dundee fall by almost 40 per cent.
“It shows what can be done and again reinforces our view sanctions were being handed out as a target-hitting exercise.”
Unemployment expert Professor David Webster, of Glasgow University, said: “It’s become part of their normal staff appraisal system. Their work is reviewed
periodically by their manager.
“If they haven’t been imposing enough sanctions they’ve been told they have to improve their performance otherwise they will be put on a ‘personal improvement plan’ – a prelude to potential disciplinary action and dismissal.”
A DWP spokeswoman said: “We’ve been very clear Jobcentre Plus has no targets for sanctions – written or otherwise.
“The vast majority of those on benefits do the right thing by looking for work, and the number of sanctions are going down. Taxpayers would expect the small minority who refuse to do so would risk a reduction in benefits. Everyone has the right to appeal a sanction decision.”
A committee of MPs have twice called for an inquiry into how sanctions work.
A study by the New Policy Institute found claimants in Dundee were almost twice as likely to be handed sanctions than claimants in Glasgow. Figures elsewhere vary significantly.
The NPI’s Peter Kenway said: “Given the number of people, that can’t in any way be put down to random fluctuation day to day. Everybody has a reasonable expectation the thing should be run the same way from one place to another.”
|Vulnerable are easy targets as a DWP whistleblower reveals the scandal of benefits sanctions
THOSE who are 'under-educated' or mentally ill are the easy victims of Iain Duncan Smith's welfare changes, and some ambitious Job Centre workers are hitting their sanctions targets at any cost.
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JOBCENTRE Plus bosses pressurise their staff every day to stop the benefits of poor and vulnerable Scots and leave them penniless.
The drive to impose sanctions is such a huge part of the culture in Iain Duncan Smith’s DWP empire that workers suffer stress and anxiety if they don’t hand out enough. The most vulnerable people, including those who may have learning difficulties, are the easiest targets.
Workers who impose too few sanctions run the risk of bad job reviews and losing their bonuses.
Decent staff do all they can to protect vulnerable people. But ambitious workers who don’t care how they get ahead will hand out sanctions “for nothing” to keep the bosses happy.
This is the scandalous reality in Scotland’s Jobcentres – revealed by a whistleblower with personal experience of how the Tory Department for Work and Pensions operates.
Liz (not her real name) told the Daily Record: “It disgusts me how vulnerable people are treated.
“The bosses don’t set specific written targets, but they are not pleased if you don’t have any sanctions in a week.
“Some staff worry if they don’t have any. That’s what makes the vulnerable an easy target.
“There are some people that want to climb the ladder and they would sanction people for nothing.
“You should be taught to look at a person and think, ‘That person is vulnerable. They can’t read or write, they’ve got learning difficulties, maybe they’ve got a mental illness.
“They might have three, four, five children and you are purposely taking their money from them.
“It affects their housing benefit, it affects their council tax, and quite a lot of them don’t deserve it. But you are under pressure to hit these unwritten targets.
“The pressure comes from your line managers, but ultimately it comes from the Government.
“There were a lot of staff disgusted when Duncan Smith went on the TV and said, ‘Oh no, we don’t have targets.’ Because we had been told, ‘You’ve got to sanction.’
“It’s very hard to sit in that position and know you’re stopping someone’s money unfairly.
“There’s no leeway. If someone’s late because they’re not used to signing on, or they forgot to write down what they’ve been doing to find work, they can get sanctioned.
“And if you don’t give out sanctions, you’re not doing your job properly. It goes towards your end-of-year report and whether you get your bonus.
“At one of our weekly meetings, I spoke out. I said, ‘There’s no way I’m going to do that.’
“I was told in no uncertain terms, ‘That is your job and you will do it.’
“All the forms for sanctions are sent up to the ‘decision maker’. And nine times out of 10, people are sanctioned. If people miss appointments because they have a funeral or a wedding, or if they’re sick and they don’t tell us, they’ll be sanctioned.”
Liz is no bleeding heart liberal. She said: “I have no problem sanctioning people who aren’t trying to get a job.”
But she added: “I will complain when people don’t deserve it.
“You have people who have mental health issues or learning difficulties and people unable to read or write or maybe just that wee bit under-educated.
“During the election campaign, when I heard there were more cuts coming, I just thought, ‘Oh, those poor people’. Especially poor families.
“There’s one wee woman I know, she’s got five kids, a lovely wee soul. I let her off by keeping her case under the radar.
“One week, she couldn’t provide proof she’d applied for jobs because her log book to show what she’d been doing to find work was in the washing machine. Her husband had left her.
“She wasn’t a scrounger, just not very good with records, computers or literacy.
“She had to go to the food bank to feed her kids, even on her benefits. I just couldn’t stop her money. I would have been sanctioning the kids.”
Liz said the same woman had been dealt with by others in the Jobcentre for the same sorts of problems – and had been sanctioned.
“Quite a lot of colleagues sanction a lot,” she said. “Some just seem to have sanction after sanction.
“They speak to the customer quite sharply, not giving them time to explain.”
Liz said she and her colleagues were always aware that if they sanctioned parents, children would suffer. But she added: “People are scared to speak out in case they lose their jobs.”
She fears the plight of poor families is being made even worse by the launch of Duncan Smith’s pet project, Universal Credit.
It is paid out monthly – in arrears – to “replicate the world of work” and places far greater demands on vulnerable people to pay their ?own rent and manage their finances.
She said Jobcentre staff hadn’t been properly trained to help people find their way through the new rules.
People sanctioned at the Jobcentre can lose jobseekers allowance or employment and support allowance for a few days or up to three years.
Official figures reveal that 918,000 claimants were sanctioned between April 2013 and March 2014.
Citizens Advice say the number of sanctions more than doubled between 2010 – when David Cameron became Prime Minister – and last year.
The charity said in 2014 that sanctions “force many people into poverty and ill health”.
They said many claimants had to turn to food banks when their benefits were stopped, and many ?were sanctioned without a proper explanation of what they had done wrong or how to appeal.
SNP Westminster welfare spokeswoman Eilidh Whiteford said stories like Liz’s were “extremely worrying”.
She added: “They give an insight into the inner workings of the chaotic and damaging system being inflicted on the unemployed and disabled people by the UK Government.
“The Tories’ inability to run this government department is having brutal and savage effects on the most vulnerable in society.
“All sanctions need to be halted immediately until a fundamental, root-and-branch, independent review can be carried out. There is a crisis at the heart of this discredited system and the DWP.”
Labour Shadow Scottish Secretary Ian Murray said Liz’s experiences chimed with cases he had dealt with as a constituency MP.
He said: “I had one guy on a mandatory computer course from noon until 1pm, and he had to sign on at 1pm on the other side of the city.
“He was 15 minutes late and he was sanctioned.
“These individual cases in themselves are dreadful, but the overall narrative is of hard-working DWP staff being put under intolerable pressure by an ideologically driven government who are fundamentally attacking the poorest and the most vulnerable.
“We suspect there are unwritten targets within the DWP, and Iain Duncan Smith has to very quickly produce a report on what targets are being set.
“If the most vulnerable people who don’t understand the system are being targeted, any reasonable person would find that intolerable.”
Ewan Gurr, who runs the Trussell Trust’s network of food banks in Scotland, said sanctions had led to “a significant increase in demand for emergency food”.
He said it was a concern, “especially when these sanctions appear to have been imposed in an unfair or excessive manner”.
Ewan added that even though universal credit was still being rolled out nationally, his staff were already hearing stories of “lengthy benefit delays and rent arrears”.
And he warned: “We need to ensure that those who struggle with a lack of literacy, or to understand the complexities of the welfare system, are aware of the support available to them.
“When the administration of our welfare system has the potential to lead to hunger and homelessness, we must act.
“We must call on our elected representatives to intervene with urgency on behalf of individuals, families and our most vulnerable citizens.”
The Department for Work and Pensions said: “We’ve been very clear that Jobcentre Plus has no targets for sanctions – written or otherwise.
“The vast majority of those on benefits do the right thing by looking for work, and the number of sanctions is going down.
“Taxpayers would expect the small minority who refuse to look for work would risk a reduction in benefits. Everyone has the right to appeal a sanction decision.”