Benefit Sanctions Are State Terrorism And Must Be Stopped Without Exceptions

terrorism-definitionAbsolute poverty, as in having no money at all, is all-encompassing, meaning it is almost impossible to think about anything else and it impacts on every area of life.  Relationships with family and friends fracture, self-esteem is demolished, emotions range from stark terror to utter despair.  Poverty removes the freedom to act rationally and assess situations in the long term and so creates its own vicious trap.  The entire pay day loan industry is based on the fact that people with nothing will agree to any terms to get cash in their pocket and food in their bellies.

Having no money can lead people to borrow from friends and family with no idea how they will pay it back or commit – and get caught for – crimes they would never normally consider.  Such is the psychological anguish of long term poverty that some people will spend money on drugs or alcohol rather than food just to block out a few hours of their life.  Poverty therefore leads to more poverty, ill health and increasing isolation.  As people are systematically demolished by need and want their problems multiply and become more acute.  Poverty leads to family breakdown, which leads to homelessness, to addiction, depression, self-harm, poor health, mental illness, criminal records and so on and so on until the individual is shattered beyond repair.

In a society where there is no common land, a scarcity of housing and money is the only way to have basic needs met, it is a form of torture to deliberately inflict this state of being on anyone.  Even the most ardent supporter of cut throat capitalism must, if they have any humanity at all, accept that to consciously reduce people to begging, sleeping in the streets or attempting suicide is a cruel and degrading punishment.  We do not treat the vilest of child killers like this in prisons, yet to be poor, and unable to find a job, is now to face the full force of state inflicted economic terrorism.

Punishing Poverty is a report published last week by Citizens Advice and which is based on a national survey of those who have had benefits stopped or sanctioned for not meeting the endless ‘work related activity’ conditions imposed by Jobcentres.  Hundreds of thousands of claimants have faced sanctions varying in length between four weeks and up to three years.  These sanctions are often imposed for the most trivial of reasons and as this report exposes, quite often for circumstances that are entirely beyond the claimant’s control.  It is not just unemployed claimants who face sanctions, but increasingly sick and disabled people and single parents with children over the age of five.

The results of the survey portray a truly horrific account of the destitution and human misery that this regime – introduced by Labour and then enthusiastically expanded by Iain Duncan Smith – has inflicted on people.  Stories of families ripped apart, pregnant women left without food, those with dietary needs due to health conditions becoming sick, mental health deteriorating, suicide attempts and people forced to beg or go through bins to find food.

These stories are not the inevitable consequence of economic crisis, the UK is still one of the richest countries in the world.  They are not even the necessary end result of austerity, belt-tightening can take place without the poor being driven into the ground.  Benefit sanctions barely save the tax payer a penny such is the cost of policing and administering the system.  They are an ideological weapon – a scorched earth attack on the individual which reduces them to dust in the name of terrifying the rest of us into accepting the low wages and insecurity that neo-liberal ideologues demand is necessary for the future of capitalism.

As the Citizens Advice report reveals you do not even have to be guilty to face a sanction.  There are countless tales of benefits being stopped due to a mistake by the Jobcentre, or because a claimant faced unavoidable circumstances such as travel delays, hospital appointments and even job interviews which caused them to be late to an appointment with their advisor.  It is the widespread, seemingly haphazard nature of the regime which forces all claimants into a state of perpetual fear.  The threat of the dreaded brown envelope through the door from the DWP is a feature of life on all benefits, a daily reminder that you are only ever a heartbeat away from complete destitution.

Whilst this report is a welcome intervention, Citizens Advice make a moral and tactical error in their conclusion.  The report states that sanctions should only be used as a ‘last resort’, as if the horror show they’ve just revealed is acceptable in some cases.   Few would argue against an administrative check, such as fortnightly signing for those on mainstream unemployment benefits, being a necessary condition for continuing a claim.  But beyond that benefit sanctions must be brought to an immediate end with no exceptions.

The welfare state is not a political weapon to stigmatise  or scapegoat people, force down wages and pursue a work makes you free ideology.  It should exist as the opposite, to empower, provide dignity and even act as a force against poverty pay – saying to grasping employers that there is an alternative for people if all you’ve got to offer is shit wages.  The money is there in the present system to pay for this.  Billions of pounds are being paid to private companies to inflict sanctions, workfare and bogus health assessments on claimants, whilst even the most brutal benefit cuts such as the Bedroom Tax are not likely to save any money in the long term.

To call for an end to ‘bad’ sanctions only, or for better administration and access to appeals, is to endorse their existence – an acceptance that sometimes people need or deserve to be treated this way.  This is a politically weak position and an immoral argument, dividing those on benefits into deserving and undeserving claimants.  And even if you accept this position, it is naive to believe that a bureacratic monstrosity like the DWP can ever achieve the dexterity necessary to tell the difference between the two.

Every single one of Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare reforms has been a disaster and they all have to go, without exception and immediately.  If the architects of this regime escape being put on trial then we have given away too much.  We should celebrate every small victory along the way and use those concessions to chip away at the greater whole.  But we must never frame our demands based on their terms and leave some of us abandoned in the process.

UPDATE: There is now a petition on 38 Degrees calling for all sanctions to be scrapped.  Please sign/share etc:

@boycottworkfare yesterday tweeted a summary of the report, which has been storified for posterity by @AnitaBellows12

The full report can be downloaded at:

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

213 responses to “Benefit Sanctions Are State Terrorism And Must Be Stopped Without Exceptions

  1. thanks for all of what you do mr void! your blog is almost the only thing giving me any faith in humanity 🙂

  2. My son is unemployed. He has done everything that the job centre have asked of him yet they have stopped the reduced payments that he was getting for no reason at all. He has even sourced and secured volunteer work, as requested. What is going on in this system is scandalous. I don’t have an issue supporting my son but he should receive some sort of benefit which he is entitled to as he has paid into the system for a lot of years when he was in full time work.

    • Liz, unfortunately it doesn’t matter if you have previously worked at all, and not for how long either, or how much you may have paid into the system. You are still treated the same as some scum sucker who’s never worked, never intended to, and probably never will. The sooner that situation is fixed, the better.

      • Smash Sanctions

        You are falling into a trap, Max, almost as if you are hankering after a divide and rule, them and us, deserving/undeserving, middle-class/working-class welfare system. Did you read the post before commenting?

        • Smash Sanctions

          A two-tier welfare system so beloved of Byrne, Millipede and Co.

          • A two tier, or even multi-tier system might not be such a bad idea if it means that those who have worked before, many of whom have done so for a considerable number of years, and lost their jobs through no fault of their own, are not branded as ‘work shy scroungers’ etc., etc., and treated accordingly. There are an enormous number of us who are rather pissed off with it!

            • And what about our fellow citizens unfortunate enough to be left behind in the ruthlessly competitive rat-race? Are you just going to let them die in the sewer, Max?

            • overburdenddonkey

              roland rat
              spot on!

            • The Boomtown Rats

              @ Roland Rat

              Hear, hear!

              Spot on 🙂

            • A tiered system of any sort still labels people and will still lead to an ‘undeserving’ sub strata. Before you know it the people labelled as undeserving will be the new “work-shy”. It may be more useful to focus on the lack of skills (which is becoming more and more apparent) and motivation as well as negative psychological effects of depression such as feeling useless and powerless. The suicide rates among young long-term unemployed men could be a telling cumulative indicator of all these and other factors such as loss of home and family break-up. Whether they can be attributed solely to sanctions I don’t know.

            • Karen,

              Those are really good points all of them.

              It’s not only the sanctions – it’s the whole set up which sets out to demean/demoralise/penalise/criminalise.

        • I was responding the situation regarding Liz’s son, and I believe benefit entitlement should be related/linked to one’s contributions.

          • Max- Life s not so simply, it’s easy for some, hard for others –
            The question is what do we do about the responsibility we have to those who find it hard , not what they have paid in , it’s a sort of a diminishing return on that — until they are dead ?

          • max we should not be making distinctions about who is or is not worthy of benefits in order to survive and should not be linked to contributions.

      • Ah, the “Do it to Julia!” line of argument. How dare you do this to me? Look at that person over there, who’s so much worse off than me. It’s his fault! Do it to him instead!

        I despise people like you, Max.

      • You filthy shithouse
        Your lack of humanity marks you as scum

        • Thanks scherben, I am so obviously wrong in my view that, having contibuted approx. £500,000 in taxes/NI during my working lifetime, I am entitled to rather more than the same benefits as someone who has contributed nothing whatsoever! Or at least I should not be belittled by treated as some ‘work shy scrounger’.

          • Ha – you will do as they tell you! You are scum to them and the people here it seems? – when will you people wake UP ! and stop looking for your own advantage.

          • Take that argument to its logical conclusion. Do you want better health care as well, better roads, a better school for your kids if you have them, the emergency services to prioritise you over someone who’s never earnt enough money to pay anything like half a million in tax? Is that how tax should work, the poor have paid less so they should get less, a tiered system of public services based on wealth?

          • Most definitely. Let’s see you answer Johnny Void’s point. Or are you just here to troll, like the sad waste of space you are?

          • If you had paid insurance for 20 years and I for two weeks, would I be any the less entitled to claim.

          • Max what your really saying is that only the strongest will survive, which is a primitive concept of a modern society, Hitler had the some idea.

      • You’re the perfect poster boy for the conservative party, if you pick the policies that only benefit you, then come the election we will be feed the same old crap like “scum sucker who’s never worked, never intended to, and probably never will. The sooner that situation is fixed, the better”. Hierocracy at its best.

    • We all have Liz. The problem is the fiction of the entire legal system (it is built upon a fundamental fiction/fraud (see my post below) plus the fraud of the monetary system. Until people take heed of this and recognise exactly how this “game” is played by these people, then we are all pi**sing in the wind I’m afraid.

    • Has He Appealed

  3. Landless Peasant

    Excellent article, I agree. Interesting to note that interpretation of “Terrorism”
    includes “use of threat to intimidate a section of the public”. I hope UK is invaded by the UN soon.

  4. The government will only change if they can be made to fear not changing.

  5. First off, you’re dead right; terrorism is EXACTLY what it is.

    Secondly, Citizen’s Advice probably had no choice but to pull their punches; as a charity, they have to be careful about being seen to be political, especially since the Tories adopted a right wing loonie to head the Charity Commission (ever noticed how quickly quangos end up full of utter wingnuts whenever the Tories get anywhere near influencing them? yet they cry blue murder about political appointees whenever Labour appoint someone who might once have dared to very quietly and politely challenge an authoritarian consensus in some minor way) and any investigation would likely not go their way had they actually reached the obvious conclusion. Also, the Tories’ wholesale destruction of the legal aid system (with the full complicity of the Lib Dems in government) – which is odd; you’d think that equal access to fair law was something of a cornerstone of liberalism… but then you’d think the same of having trials out in the open, or not operating a network of concentration camps for asylum seekers who haven’t satisfied the UKBA that they’ve been persecuted badly enough in the country they fled in terror for their lives… and their children) has had a ruinous effect on their finances so far; they’re probably a little fearful of whatever’s coming down the pipeline next. Which will probably be the law, on which the Lib Dems appear to be even keener than the Tories, saying – effectively – that whilst big business can continue having free access to government as much as it likes, any charity that breathes a word which might be interpreted as critical in some way that might have possibly altered an election result, for a year before the election, will face criminal prosecution. (And since reality has a well-know bias against the Tories, simply describing it meets that criterion.)

    Make no mistake – Britain is a full-fledged fascist state now. We might not have Nuernberg rallies or overly simplistic flag designs, but in every way that matters, opposition is being quietly disposed of. And as I say, we already have the concentration camps.

  6. Superlative article on on absolute poverty & benefit sanctions;I’ll e-mail it to Magdalena Sepúlveda, the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights.

    I have already received a response from her, dated September 23:

    Dear Mr. Miller,

    On behalf of the Special Rapporteur, thank you very much for your communications and apologies for the delayed response. Ms. Sepúlveda is observing very closely the situation with the UK welfare policies and their effects on persons living in poverty, including persons with disability. She is doing her best within the limits of her mandate to address such situations not only in the UK but globally through direct engagement with Governments.

    She would like to commend you for your tireless efforts and wishes you all the best in your endeavours.

    Best regards,

    Mandate of the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights
    Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
    Postal Address: UNOG-OHCHR, CH1211 Genève 10, Suisse
    Tel: +41 22 917 94 02/ 96 43
    Fax: + 41 22 917 90 06

  7. Great post. Says it all, straight, truthful and simply. this post should be compulsory reading for all.

  8. Please also take note of the Human Rights Act 1998. While the British government condemn Assad for killing his people (under threat of a resurrection in play), the British government themselves give themselves the right to kill British people in precisely the same circumstances under an act called “HUMAN RIGHTS”. You cannot make this stuff up. We are up against a sociopathic and psychopathic, hypocritical and you can say without fear of ridicule, EVIL regime in this country.

    How do they achieve this? By giving you a “human right” NOT to be recognised by law as just that – a human being – but to give you the recognition under law as A PERSON. It is black and white and for many it takes some time for that penny to drop. If ONLY it would we would be in a different (and better) world.

  9. something survived...

    Jean-Charles DeMenezes. His murderers should be named and jailed.
    Oh he wasn’t a person, apparently.

  10. Paragraph seven, three lines down: Should that be “avoidable” circumstance, rather than unavoidable? Feel free to delete this comment after you’ve seen whether correction is needed.

  11. Reblogged this on Vox Political and commented:
    Johnny Void calls for an end to benefit sanctions and the prosecution of the ministers who have inflicted them – often unnecessarily – on people, as “economic terrorists”. This is a position with which we should sympathise. For the amount of fraud in the UK, this behaviour is entirely disproportionate and dehumanising, not just to claimants but to DWP staff. I have been saying on Vox Political, for many months, that the system needs to be dismantled completely, and a new one put together with claimant care as its centre. At the moment, the aim is to make claiming benefits either impossible or the least palatable option, in order to persuade people to buy insurance policies against job losses. These policies are sold by the Unum Corporation which, by no coincidence at all, is also the private business that has been advising the DWP for all these years.

    • DWP staff—They don’t have to do it – they have a choice, they could change places, are they terrorised / threatened too ? perhaps they keep doing the job because they can`t get another — it’s us or them ? But most enjoy the little bit of power. Wait till the boots on the other foot– I for one will not be in forgiving mood .

      • Jonathon they probably don’t care because the unions are working to protect them from the scenerio of having to sanction each other when UC arrives
        Look up motion a92 which came about roughly in May regarding part time employees
        Solidatiry is a mirage that ship sailed long ago

      • Yes, it seems to be the case that, when there’s some oppressing to be done, there’s always someone willing to do it.

        • more than willing ! i think; just waiting for such a government – look at history.

        • Stanley Milligram

          It has always been the case in any society, it the government put an advert for hangwo/men on UJM: “to carry out the execution of the unemployed, sick and disabled and any others no deemed useful to society by the DWP/JC. Salary £50,000 a year + 6 weeks annual leave + pension” of course there would be no shortage of applicants wiling and able to do it. That is how we get Nazism, there is never any shortage of our fellow citizens willing to do the oppressing. How far up can the DWP/JC turn the dial on the unemployed and the JC ‘advisers’ will still carry out their orders?

  12. Reblogged this on The Thoughts of a Ginge.

  13. JV, the bit about the dreaded brown envelope really strikes a chord! And every bloody time it was courtesy of the most incredible bungling incompetence of some faceless fucker at the BDC..which I think is ‘Benefits Delivery Centre'(?). Those are the real twats in this set up, absolutely useless…and I do believe that many of them are truly evil.

  14. overburdenddonkey

    human rights are the foundation stone of any true civilisation, and as such are non-political, the cab as do any other charity, must be pro-active and be seen to be upholding human rights above all else…human rights law is very clear on these points..
    imo, and in the opinions of many others, benefits sanctions and conditionality is a clear violation of human rights, as they deny access to vitals of life, as a punishment, another has judged one as not being worthy of vitals, because of the offence of not doing this, that, or the other.
    jv clearly points out, the terror of losing, and/or being stripped one of benefits causes extreme distress and many types of hardships..
    the core fight is to end sanctions, conditionality’s, and stealth taxation of our very merger benefits..
    the “offences” that cause these arbitrary punishments, are always retrospective, in that they seek as prime, obedience, to the the “state”, and no other.
    they take no a/c of what it is to be human and directly affect the bellies (gut), of human beings, especially in light of the daily struggle people face to meet the daily requirements of the conditionality burdens placed upon them, as people try to achieve the goals of what ever is set by the system to, “earn entitlement”,of ones benefits, and to avoid these draconian punishments.
    the benefit entitled person is already placed in a state of high anxiety, fretting that this may or not be the day that they are sanctioned…
    sanctions and conditionality, are a very immature, spiteful, is revenge, and are imposed on those with the least energy (power), and the most to lose….they must be stopped…
    human rights law must take a/c of natural justice and law, spirit of the law, withdrawal of vitals clearly harms the victim of this despicable is designed to do just that…

  15. A Jobcentre employee told me that their motto is: “If in doubt, raise a doubt.” Basically clerks now raise doubts about Jobsseker’s efforts at the drop of a hat and leave it to a Decision Maker to make the call whether to uphold or remove any sanction imposed: so guilty and innocent are all sanctioned for the most ridiculous and trivial of reasons and the sanctions left to somebody miles away to uphold or remove.

    Clerks in Jobcentres should not be able to raise doubts so easily for no good reason. If you give sad little gits like this the power to do something like this and put them under pressure to get as many people off Jobseeker’s Allowance by hook or by crook, this kind of thing was obviously bound to happen.

    The severity of the sanction are ridiculously punitive too.

    Three strikes an you forfeit help from the State for three years!


    • Johnno, just don’t give them any reason to ‘raise a doubt’. It’s really not very difficult at all (unless you want to make it so), just play them at their own game!

      • overburdenddonkey

        what you have written is indefinable..would you care to elaborate and define what you mean?

        • Just do what is written in your Job Seeker’s Agreement or, may I suggest, just a little more, then the bastards have nothing to go after you for, do they? Why make life more difficult for yourself? I had no problem at all with this, no problems at all with JCP+ staff, but I still would like to stuff some of those completely incompetent fuckers at the BDC. Some staff at JCP+ helped me out with BDC problems btw. JCP+ staff are pissed off with sorting out BDC fuck ups, and I don’t blame them!

          • overburdenddonkey

            so the cab wasted their time writing “punishing poverty” report, and basically you say people are making a rod for their own backs, come on max they are finding any excuse they can to push people into sanctions..this issue has been live for a long time and getting worse, as the report, and many posting’s clearly demonstrate, stop gloating.
            it is not a static contained situation, clearly very fluid, and being ramped up on a daily basis…to push and push people till they are crushed..

          • Bollocks, Max! You can follow your jobseeker’s agreement to the letter and still be sanctioned!! You are talking out of a hole in your arse!!

        • OBD, sorry but I got somewhat carried away in a rant regarding the BDC wankers there! What I should have said is that it’s very easy to verify that you are looking for work under the terms of your Jobs Seeker’s Agreement, if indeed you are doing so. If you are not doing so, then why should you be entitled to JSA? I know it’s fucking hard to find a job, btw!

          • Max,

            Sorry but you have missed the bit about the ‘terrorism’.

          • Max, have you googled and read “Especially Stupid Benefit Sanctions”? If not I recommend you do so.

          • Really JSA in the context of JV’s post is a bit of a red herring, and the whole benefits system itself us a part of that. Taken to a logical conclusion, it would seem to me that the only rational, sane and practical solution to issues of absolute poverty and low wages would be a basic citizens income that covered basic costs of life as a right, and not as a privelige. This woud of course mean totally undermining the whole notion of deserving or undeserving, which is precisely why the government persists with it’s megalomaniac and hugely expensive war against the poor. Whislt the government and it’s allies distract the focus of the so called ‘deserving’ away from themselves and re-direct it towards the ‘scroungers’ (whoever they are?), it gives the government, or really the big business interests, of whom the government is a puppet in reality, a free hand to further entrench it’s power.

            Really the distinction of deserving or undeserving needs to be abolished, and a line drawn below which no citizen should be allowed to fall. At the moment there are those claiming that we have a ‘right’ to things like a roof over our heads, food in our bellies etc, but in reality we only have a privelege in those areas: we can access those things if we have the money to pay for them. Those who baulk at the idea of society providing housing and sustenance at no cost at the point of need should perhaps take a look at the NHS, as healthcare is indeed, (for the time being at least) provided on that basis. Yes, it would cost a lot, but there is more than enough money in the system to pay for it, though that would undoubtedly upset the 1% who would rather salt that cash away in the Cayman Islands.

            Superlative post BTW, JV – one of the best I’ve read from you so far. Both powerful and moving.

    • Another also said recently that when presented with the form that has to be completed and is then sent to a decision maker there are “some people” who refuse/don’t stay long enough to fill it in … “they just walk out”. I wonder why …

      • But they give you the form making out that you have to fill in in there and then, putting the jobseeker on the spot and under pressure. It is deliberate; it is to give the jobseeker no time to think, formulate their arguments and reason their arguments. Just take the form away with you to fill out in your own time and let the fuckers get stuffed.

        • Thanks for that. I have seen the form (was trying to get some idea what sort of things a DM would take into consideration – allegedly anyway – & it was able to ‘view’ it … So i know exactly what you mean – it would make all the difference to be able to take it away & at least try to feel a bit calmer deciding how to complete it & I’m sure that option isn’t ever given..

    • Not forgetting that if you sign off before the end of a sanction period, the remaining sanction period is added to the start of your new claim, should you have to make one.

  16. I have noticed an abrupt change in the attitude at JCP,much more aggressive,my job search was questioned,I submitted their form fully filled out and this was not acceptable,I then pulled out my daily journal detailing everything relating to my job search,unacceptable I had 42 UJM printouts of positions applied for,unacceptable(felt like I was trying to get planning permission for a Grade 1 building} I finally asked what proof would be acceptable? Access to your UJM account,I refused and now have to report daily to the JCP 0830-1700 (30 min lunch break) as it is my”Job” in order to claim £71.70 Do they have to allow access/provide to the toilets? break room? and if this is my job will I get accrued holiday pay(sic) Health and Safety briefings? Am I covered by their insurance? Sorry just being a jobsworth,they have no computer facilities and we will be sent to various locations(Library,YMCA,ect) will they pay for travel? I asked all of these and they do not know,I pointed out that the locations they wanted me to go are in 2 different zones and will require 2 different tickets at a cost of £41.50 weekly …….Just a blank stare and a reminder that failure to attend will result in a doubt being raised!

    • I know I’m going to get a whole load of grief for this, but why not just give the bastards access to your UJM account and just play them at their own game? It’s a piece of piss! In the meantime you are just farting against thunder and losing the benefits to which you may be entitled. Why make life so difficult for yourself, unless you’re really not ‘looking for work’ (and, yes, I know it’s fucking hard to find!)

      • Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!

      • Probably because THEY’RE NOT ALLOWED TO REQUIRE THAT. They aren’t playing by their own rules, or the law. Nobody’s safe from a system in that state, Max. Not even you.

        (And my god, is it going to come as a shock to you when you lose your benefits for three months because you didn’t say Sir in exactly the right place…)

        • That’s why I did say Sir in (more or less) exactly the right place. And it won’t become a shock to lose my benefits for 3 months. I no longer claim benefits…….just trying to offer some advice to those unfortunate enough to have to do so….that’s all. OK?

          • And of course, you will never become mentally or physically ill for the rest of your life, you will drop dead on your 65th birthday, and your income will never fall below thirty grand a year…

            I don’t know whether you’re a fool or a troll. But what you’ve just admitted is that your experience is out of date – so I’m tending towards both.

      • Max the visit before last I allowed access(after a threat of a sanction) the following week no benefit,I called and although they would not admit error it was put through the same day. Principle? or just being stubborn? I am not sure,at 50 years old and having never claimed before being on benefits is humbling,2 years on the Work Programme has accomplished nothing,I had arranged to start a work placement and a NEBOSH course,but the JC found a 2 Month temp job and I had to accept it,I then applied and was approved (JCP) for a heavy plant course,checked every week asking for a start date,assigned to the WP and funding was pulled after that I arranged 2 work placements both denied as they had not been vetted…In reality I just don’t trust the Bastards,the UJM is the Gun and allowing them access would be handing them the Bullets!

      • are you working for dwp max, you sound like you are?

        • @guy fawkes. Max doesn’t understand either the system or what it is like to feel threatened by sanctions- he admits he no longer claims benefits. He is more likely a self-employed agent provocateur.

      • are you trying to access a job at job centre plus, you sound like you are promoting them for promotion of yourself.?

    • First day on the JCP Job..0830 sign a roster,about 30 others,0910 sent home/scour the streets for “The Hidden Jobs” that are apparently out there just waiting to be found,before I left “Can I use a computer and printer to run off a few Spec CV’s?” NO,use the Library(.20p per page=.40 per CV) Can I use the restroom? try the Pub around the corner. Travel expenses? “Hold on to your receipts,but remember by cheapest means only” and finally “Remember if you fail to carry out what is expected you will be subject to sanctions”………Report again at 0830 tomorrow and please remember not to enter the building until your name is called after you have signed the roster.
      ….Fucking Bollocks!

    • They say they want job-seeking to be like being in a (35 hour pw) job, but in what sort of job would you lose a month’s money for one screw-up? Sadistic madness…

    • It is not just UJM the fuckers want access to – they want access to other jobsites and email accounts. Where is the Data Protection Act 1998 when you need it!

      • And if you refuse access they will access sanction you for not actively seeking work… and even if you did it would only give them more reason to find an excuse to sanction you. I mean that is the whole point of this ‘jobseeking’ farce… to find an excuse, any excuse will do, not matter how tenuous and flimsy, to sanction you!

  17. Pingback: Benefit Sanctions Are State Terrorism And Must ...

  18. Reblogged this on The Pua Melia Clinic and commented:
    We have to stop this madness!!

  19. Here’s an interesting piece from the US about welfare, in the light of a new bill that would force all foodstamp recipients to sell their cars or else lose their benefits. It’s a nice refutation of the arguments advocating for less illegibility in welfare benefit systems.

    It is an American piece, but many of the same arguments apply here too.

  20. Why don’t the communist party radicalize the unemployed, homeless and disabled? like GD have done in Greece only the opposite.

  21. I agree with Max regarding giving access to UJM accounts for the fortnightly signing routine. I tick the box allowing access the night before and untick it when I get home. Of course if you allow access they will see the dates on any recording of jobsearches and jobs applied for and if they don’t tally with any paper copies that could cause problems.
    I’m sure most of the general public would be shocked by the bullying tactics the jobcentre staff use. I was under the impression that nobody could lose benefit until they had given their account to a decision maker regarding any doubts.
    We don’t know who the decision makers are and it might be a group of jobcentre staff deciding on a claim and not an individual. These people remain anonymous and even if you appeal and attend a tribunal hearing they never appear and are represented by a legal expert.

    • Cheers Rob, at last a voice of some sense and reason! Apart from which, if you are really that afraid of actually getting a job for a living, don’t worry about applying for one (or more!) via UJM, ‘cos you won’t get a response anyway. There’s a 1 in 100 chance it will actually be viewed, and if you’re really lucky you might get an interview with some raving Tory tossbag who wants to pay you fuck all whilst he’s got a £90K Merc/BMW/etc. parked outside the office…..and that’s if he’s not off on some fucking jolly!

    • Trouble is almost all the jobs I apply for come from different sites other than Universal Jobmatch and so even if I allow them to monitor my online activity, which I disapprove of in principle, all they will see is a load of notes made by me in respect to job applications no different essentially from a paper record. What is the point? If they want to check that I have made applications they can telephone, fax, or email the addresses of the employers I have listed.

      I really, really, really hate the idea of any government surveiling me doing anything online and checking up when I log on to a site, how long I remain logged in, what I look at, what I do, how many pages I look at, what pages I look at and how long I look at them etc., and so I think I might just as well spend my days at the Jobcentre and enjoy their facilities providing they pay my train or bus fare to visit them five times a week. If I don’t get travel costs reimbursed it will be impossible for me to visit the Jobcentre for five days a week because it would only leave me with about £24.00 to live on.

      Surely no decision maker would consider an impossible demand like that reasonable.

      • I wouldn’t bet on it! With all due respect, haven’t you realised that it hasn’t a jot to do with fairness or reasonableness – it’s about grinding people into the ground and terrorising the working poor.

  22. Rosemarie Harris

    Nobody is going to help us, we need to do what we have to ,check ‘What do they know’ I don’ tknow how to do the link But someone will. It is a Freedom of information act( DWP) has loads of information about your rights as it’s people who ask all questions about the Job centre /Rules etc.
    As someone has already said you need to do what you have to, fight them with their own rules you can’t win just by saying no. And as much as we know what bastards some are it dosen’t change anything nobody gives a shit and talk is cheap.If the Jobcentre makes it hard for you then only you can make that decision.But it’s important that if it’s something you can’t afford to do then please just give them what they want and ask to use their machine at the Job centre this way you don’t have cookies on your computer.
    Check out the Freedom of information site (DWP)
    I hope it works out for you these are not easy times!

    • That’s exactly what should be done – play by the RULES. They cannot stipulate in which way you record your activity and I still supply my own printed out list of what I’ve done in terms of Jobsearch. I am not signed up to UJM as I have declined to do so and so far have not been hassled.

      In terms of the JCP checking up on my applications/enquiries to employers they would find themselves on the end of a double whammy as I have withdrawn my consent for them to share my personal information, and crucially all prospective employers are informed that I do not give consent for them to share my personal information with Third Parties.

      Taking an aggressive stance, or even blunt refusals are unlikely to work, but careful use of language, and sticking to their actual rules rather than something an individual JCP advisor has made up on the spur of the moment will provide you with a lot of protection. So long as you stick to the letter of what is outlined in your Jobseeker’s Agreement you should have no problems, as it is the base line, the ‘contract’ as it were, and deviation from what is contained there requires a renegotiation.

      Not a lot of help, and we are always going to be in the weaker position. We do need to do more to help each other, but sometimes I feel that many have given up any kind of faith in the abilities of joint action. The number of calls for some organisation or other to ‘do something’ is also of concern. Better to be the change you want to see yourself and recruit others – it has a better chance becuase you’d be in the driving seat.

      • overburdenddonkey

        C.I. is the way to go, this would cut mountains of bureaucracy and misery, at a stroke, and free up many support charities, like the cab, to do other things…

  23. IDS, in a gingham dress holding a penguin glove puppet: SERF! You have upset the king of the potato people. I sanction you to eight hours W. O. O. With. Out. Oxygen.

    With this image (courtesy of Red Dwarf) in mind, I would like you to introduce you to the concept of Wednesbury unreasonableness. This forms part of the Wednesbury principles, described by the Z2k Trust in a consultation response as ‘the heart of all administrative law.’

    Wednesbury unreasonableness is ‘A standard of unreasonableness used in assessing an application for judicial review of a public authority’s decision. A reasoning or decision is Wednesbury unreasonable (or irrational) if it is so unreasonable that no reasonable person acting reasonably could have made it (Associated Provincial Picture Houses Ltd v Wednesbury Corporation (1948) 1 KB 223).’ Definition from

    This concept turns the DWP decision-making process on its head as if the resulting ‘sentence’ is totally out of proportion to the’crime’ it is open to judicial review. Sanctions, Community Work Placements, Work Capability Assessments, unpaid forced labour, bbedroom tax- potentially millions of lawsuits. All we need is a network of available, trained, rights advisors willing to challenge the government; access to justice through legal aid and a government that respects the decisions made by the courts.

    Fuck. Cunning bastards aren’t they?

    • And just in case cutting us off at the legs weren’t enough, they’re now going for the headshot – and trying to interfere with the eligibility for judicial review itself (not just for legal aid in seeking one, but the very definition of what qualifies for judicial review).

      In the long run, all of this may be doing us a favour. For centuries the only thing keeping English government from collapsing into utter despotism was a complex web of convention, gentlemen’s agreements and a belief in fair play. All of those struts have now been completely eroded away, leaving those of us paying attention (and increasingly, everyone else too) in no doubt as to the morass of corruption that was always potentially there – and has now come to full fruition. We need some kind of revolution, even if only a parliamentary one that actually underpins the UK with a proper, legal constitution, enforcing proper limits on executive power and mandating judicial oversight of legislative and executive processes. (After all, there’s a reason why they did that in just about every former colony we ever foisted upon the world.)

      But these are dangerous words to publish in today’s climate. Let’s hope I’m still at liberty in a fortnight…

  24. I was sanctioned for three months for missing a phone call!! A call that didn’t leave a message or a number to get back to them on (it came up as withheld) They will use ANYTHING, any little flimsy excuse they can to take money away from you. I am not a scrounger, I have severe epilepsy and I am fed up with dreading the brown envelopes and constantly having to justify myself. I think this is the most vicious government this country has ever seen.

  25. The whole benefits fiasco is malicious the heading for this article certainly says it as it is.

  26. I’m sure I read somewhere 2 to 3 years ago that a Tory think tank we’re actually trying to come up with an argument that would suggest that it was poverty that led to corruption not power. They really are like Nazi’s without the flag or a Fuhrer. Can anybody tell me what lessons that we were supposed to of been learnt at the Nuremberg Trials again please before history is erased. They need to be removed, like so yesterday. No seriously, it is almost as if they are forcing us to become so desperate that we begin to act like wild animals who will do almost anything to survive. I don’t just want them removed, I demand they be held immediately after that removal, questioned without the presence of a solicitor for 48 hours,

  27. Good article.
    In these benighted times even the flicker of a candle can help to remain on the path of decency and humanity.

  28. Universal Credit roll-out continues – this time it’s Hammersmith and Fulham in the firing line.

  29. there is also a new “punishment” the “civil penalty”,i recently moved to a new area due to domestic violence,on arrival at my new town i headed straight for a phonebox,then went through 6 pound in coins to inform the dwp,a week later i recieved a brown envelope informing me i had been fined a “cival penalty” of 50 pound “for not infrorming the dwp of a change in a timely manner”,it states on the letter that the decision is final and i cannot despute it in any way..what the hell is happening

    • biggles ~ is CAB worth a try to find out if you could challenge it (in light of the circumstances you were in)? It is getting harder to get to see someone as their queues are so big – it sounds very wrong though, what you’ve said. Then again, so do/are all of the other things mentioned above & they’re being ‘allowed’ in law …

  30. Reading this was to (almost) feel relief & i am definitely thankful for it.

    CAB’s report is something on its’ own, but every one of the wider points made, together completely sum up the situation.

    First, recognise you have a problem.
    The reality is that people are being and have been placed into a state of semi, near and abject terror for no good reason (as there can be no good reason). It a relief to have it said ‘in public’ – as it’s not always easy to explain this to people ‘on the outside’ and this can add to the already high levels of di/stress being felt. – if the prison had concrete walls and the tormentors had physical instruments of torture it would be ‘easier’ for people to follow the process, even if they’ve never been directly affected by it (Amnesty International have great support from large numbers of people).

  31. Check this out

    chapter 11. the welfare system as a system of control.

  32. I have always said that a roof over ones head and a basic amount of benefits to live on is a human right, it is non negotiable. They pay such meagre benefit in the first place that they have nothing to cut as a penalty for those they consider not “complying”. Perhaps they should therefore increase basic benefits?

    This poisonous government I cannot see ever gaining power again. The alternative not great but this lot are representative of so few and decreasing rapidly.

  33. Off Topic But Important.

    Judgement of Cait Reilly and Jamie Wilson V`s DWP back-to-work scheme.

    The awaited Judgment in the Cait Reilly and Jamie Wilson case regarding the DWP re back-to-work scheme will be given next Wednesday 30 October 2013 at 09.45 hours in courtroom 2.

    • This appeal is just going to reword the errors the dwp made in their policy making.
      It needs to be taken to the European court of human rights, not that I have much faith in them either, another club where they are all in it together when it comes to law making collectively against it’s own citizens.

  34. CAB have always been a little over diplomatic in their responses to destructive government policy. So this “good AIDS/bad AIDS” response is no real surprise in the light of the following…

    Last year, a paid advisor told me that CAB would nationally be receiving a rescue funding package that was to be administered by the DWP. If this has happened, it is bound to affect their reporting and impact on the amount and quality of advice and support they give to those on benefits. They will likely have targets set by the DWP to qualify to continue to receive the funding package in increments.

    In the last year I have seen a change of attitude in some of the CAB Advisors, they appear to be constantly under threat of losing their jobs. It used to seem like the staff actually cared, now, not so much.

      • *rolls eyes*
        Proof of what? Try reading 3 of the second paragraph of my comment. Pay particular attention to the words “If this has happened…”

        • That should read …

          Try reading line 3

          • The CAB where I volunteer is full of Daily Mail types. I had to take issue with one who said out loud that if someone is applying for a food bank voucher, it’s outrageous that they can afford to smoke (which they often nip outside to do while they wait to be seen)!

        • Ah. I get it now. Its just bull shit.

          • ed, try having a little look on Google and you will see where CAB funding comes from. The rescue funding was announced by Cameron and widely reported in the media, just before it happened. What wasn’t mentioned was who was going to administer it.

            When you have educated yourself, you may crawl back under your bridge like the little troll you are.

            • What next Goosey Loosey, is the sky going to fall in. Stop the fear mongering and try not to incite any unreasonable fear in people.
              I only asked if there was any truth to it. Why did you phrase it in the past tense, like it had already happened. You are the one that needs educating in the facts and not your possible myths.
              No troll here.

  35. Our CAB manager is a lib dem councillor in another town where he lives.

  36. The CAB report, like so many others skirts around the vast elephant in the room,the reason so many are out of work is that there are NO FUCKING JOBS! It’s that simple. Why are these organisations so afraid of stating the bloody obvious?

    • Several million pounds in rescue funding administered by the very government department that is arbitrarily punishing people for the fact that there are no real jobs is one reason I would guess.

      Nothing fucks up integrity like a bit of cash or a regular salary.

      That goes for the JC+ and WP workers too.

    • The managers of CAB have paid positions and they make the rules so that they don’t lose compromise their positions.

  37. This is close to home.

  38. Reblogged this on Living in Disabled Britain and commented:
    The poor of this country are being systematically punished in the most inhumane way by the most evil government this country has ever seen. The Void describes it as Terrorism. I for one am inclined to agree. As a disabled person I am one of those who lives in fear of that brown envelope dropping on my doormat every day. It is hard enough for the disabled to cope with life as it is, now we live in terror of what the future holds if this government stay in power much longer.

  39. Essence of Scouse

    The Norman scum are still ruling this country, and nothing will change until they are stripped of their obnoxious power.

  40. Pingback: Close To Home | homeaffairsdotme

  41. No doubt the mainstream media will be discussing this report and making the public aware of it.

  42. Who really thinks this report will make a jot of difference.

  43. I am about to spend another christmas with no money. Last year down to work programme provider mistakes. This year down to two odious psychopaths at the jobcentre.
    All I seem to do is get sanctioned, I look for work, but because they don’t like the fact that i wont ask how high when they tell me to jump they don’t like it.
    And as I am not in receipt of HB or CT they cannot blackmail me so easily.
    So therefore I tell it like it is. This I believe is more the reeason why the jobcentre psychopaths sanctioned me. They love their little bit of power.
    It all depends on the person the other side of the desk. Get a nice one (they are there, but getting rarer to find) and you are fine. Get a nasty one and whatever you do will be picked apart.
    Dare to question them on their conduct and that alone is a sanction right there. Nasty.

    They will never stop. Sanctions are here to stay. For the criminal offence of being unemployed.

    Stay strong people.

  44. Brings to mind the behaviour of the ‘prisoners’ and ‘guards’ observed during the Zimbado experiment:

    As the ‘prisoners’ became institutionalised, the ‘guards’ became derisive and openly contemptuous towards them. The prisoners became more submissive which provoked overt aggression and assertiveness in the guards.. They demanded ever greater irrational tasks and compliance from the prisoners who became even more dependent on the guards for everything.

    • Jobcentre staff remind me of the people in Stanley Milgram’s experiments into obedience in which a superior person instructs an unwitting subject to administer electric shocks, of increasing severity, to an anonymous stranger in another room. Although no electric shocks were actually administered and the person being electrocuted was only acting as if they were in distress a large number of subject were willing to administer what they thought were lethal electric shocks to another person when ordered to do so by a person in authority.

      The Jobcentre clerks are behaving in the same way.

      They are being desensitised gradually to the suffering they caused to other people by raising doubts, as instructed by their managers as, instructed by the DWP.

      The bottom line is: Everybody is a victim of the pernicious DWP.

  45. By why are the Tories doing so well in the polls? Who are the idiots/sadists who still want to vote for them?

    I just hope the polling is wrong. They should be on about 15/20 percent.

    • They aren’t actually. Without a miracle happening they WILL lose the next election and even Nick Clegg and his morons won’t be able to save them. If the Labour Party had a decent leader and one who wasn’t so timid they would be streets ahead!

      Most of the people currently voting Tory are brainwashed cretins who simply don’t understand basic economics. It is high time GCSE Economics was made a school subject you have to study until the day you leave. Hell, if only George Osbourne had studied it as he has no grasp of it either. I’m not blowing my own trumpet but I learnt it so that makes me better than Osbourne who has NO economic qualification to his name!

  46. Whoever you vote for the government still gets in.

  47. underconstant sanction

    hi people stay strong i have received a letter from field fisher waterhouse, the letter goes on to say dear sir we act for jcp we are instructed that on the October 2013 when you acted in an aggressive and abusive manner towards a staff member, your reported behavior was totally unacceptable if there is any repeat jobcenter staff will request police attendance and press criminal charges to be brought against you where appropriate. futher steps that might be taken are banning you from attending jobcenters . seeking an ASBO against you . or applying for an injunction against you. which will include an order for you to pay are costs this warning does not prevent the bringing of criminal or cival proceedings in respect of your behavior on the blank of october that as given rise to this letter!…. this as me worried and confused are they going to take action or is it just a warning anty help would be great

    • Fishburn Hedges

      Not sure, but I have heard of jobseekers receiving these threat-o-grams before, I don’t think it is anything to lose sleep over. Field Fisher Waterhouse sound like a ‘legal firm’ cum PR agency maybe not too dissimilar to Fishburn Hedges the PR firm that concoct the TVL/BBC (TV Licensing) monthly threat-o-gram.

    • Don’t worry about it. Ignore it. That’s my advice.
      Just whatever you did that caused them to send this, don’t do it again!
      It’s not worth losing your rag with machines, that’s what most of the staff are, just machines.
      I had a letter recently from the jobcentre telling me that my conduct was unacceptable, simply because I was being a little bit facetious and asking the adviser who talked to me like dirt if he was constipated.
      It was a stupid letter sent by a stupid two bit manager, I just laughed when it arrived with a copy of their ‘customer’ charter.

      Hope that helps.

  48. Pingback: Could Civil Penalties Be The New Benefit Sanctions As Jobcentre Staff Hand Out Fines To Cover Their Own Mistakes | the void

  49. I was sanctioned a month last month.(STILL under appeal). It does sound dramatic but your heart almost stops at the thought of it. It’s so frightening when you’re having to live on JSA as it is because, if like me and you live alone, that IS IT. It’s all you get to manage on.
    I have a little dog I adopted a couple of years ago and I was SO despondent, so panic-stricken that I did consider ending it all and what to do to kill him painlessly too.
    It helps not a jot to know others are in the same boat. I’m in this boat on my own and there’s just nothing you can do. You never know who this mysterious “decision-maker” is nor how to reach them. A local councillor arranged a foodbank parcel for me and some money so I could get petrol in order to do the 25 mile round trip to sign on for nothing. If not for him I’ve no idea what I’d have done.
    I want to work so badly, I’ve worked 30 years before this round of unemployment but as you all know, it’s hard. I’ve had interviews but still no luck.
    They really need to have this power taken away from them and start to pay better attention to the people they’re sanctioning and just how awful it is and what it means to the person they’ve done it to.

    • Please don’t ‘end it all’ Lynda.
      I know how tough it can be, even when you have got support!
      I hope that you are back in receipt of JSA. If not claim hardship payments.

      Good luck and please take care.

      • Yes, they are paying it for now…..but who knows for how long ?? I looked into hardship payments but first you had to go to their office and fill in a form. I had 19p in the bank and was running on fumes as it was. My nearest office is a 25 mile round trip. Not the least bit helpful. If I borrowed the petrol money I might as well just go to Tesco 2 miles away instead if you get me.

    • Lynda,come off it,as you(we) live a life of Luxury,slurping Bollie and free lunches can we really complain?(sic) sorry thought I was addressing IDS!

  50. The Government/MP’s can’t get away with cutting benefits yet having lavish lifestyles, expenses, 2 houses, claiming for travelling a mile, bonuses and ridiculous pensions. It’s about time Britain stood up against these disreputable bunch of criminals.

    • Found this from April in the Telegraph of all places:
      “MPs have complained they cannot claim expenses for “a large lunch at lunchtime”, need to “watch the clock” until 7.31pm before getting a free dinner and do not get as much in meal allowances as soldiers.”

      Meanwhile people who are sanctioned thanks to their policy or lack of backbone go to foodbanks or bins…MPs seem to have lost track of how their perks are paid for.

  51. Pingback: Stop the war on the poor. | Social Awareness

  52. Pingback: Benefit Sanctions Are State Terrorism And Must ...

  53. Pingback: Petition Calling For Benefit Sanctions To Be Scrapped Hits Nearly 2000 Signatures In First Few Hours | the void

  54. Benefit Sanctions: Jolly good idea! And about bloody time too!

    • This is not even funny : Jolly good idea as sanctions help drive down wages, reduces free market enterprise and puts us on the road to total government neo- communism economic control; until the country is a third world sh*t hole. Old Tories who still support the Conservative party are the biggest fools alive.

    • Personally I carry a hammer to jcp in my bag…first lying scumbag that forces me to starve is getting seriously damaged to the point of never working again….this is a fucking war and in prison you get 3 meals a day and good healthcare……..whats to lose, life empty hungry and begging or 3 hot meals ……..see my point…im personally fucking sick of this government and the lowlife scumbags allowed to force hunger and hardship on citizens…..first 1 to try me as I said will need fucking benefits themselves for the rest of their weasly scumbag life…believe me when I say this that pain association works very well….fight fire with fire…… trolling here just a very nervous frightened man with mental health problems that will not in any circumstance accept abuse and naziism for a health related issue…..good luck all of you struggling at the moment, im sure when its my turn you will read about it in the news…… sometimes takes a drastic event before anything is done to sort the problems……WE NEED A MODERN DAY GUY FAWKES. To close..massive apolgies to any offended people by my rant but this is all beyond human rights and decency so why should I remain decent ? When treated like an animal act like an animal.

  55. Pingback: Petition | ana.

  56. I have sons, i have daughters, They ALL are depressed about their future prospects, now all but one is at college only one left in school.
    The one left in school has mentioned to me that they keep thinking “what’s the point?”. This because they see the struggle for jobs and the struggle for the schools to teach and the fact that he will have no practical skills when leaving (as this is not part of the curriculum), he has even looked at the levels of learning required to pass exams of the past such as O levels and states that much of that wasn’t even approached in his school.

    My point is that these governments have systematically been failing for generations now, the jobs are NOT there, the skill levels of our children are not there, The hope and inner fire to get a life of their own is not there. the country, generation after generation has been let down by cutbacks and excuses and incompetant government to the point where our future population is in a state of total apethy.


    Yet they are having the blame foisted upon them.

    They did not fail to encourage employment.
    They did not fail to improve education.
    They did not fail to close tax loop holes nor fail to discourage off shore tax dodging.
    They just wanted to live in a country that cared about itself and it’s people rather than a few well rewarded bankers and over paid politicians, both of which seem to excel in and even celebrate their failures.

  57. Jobseekers are being SANCTIONED FOR FOUR WEEKS OVER TRIFLING INFRINGEMENTS it is scandalous – one gentleman local to myself was sanctioned for being TEN SECONDS LATE to a JSA interview despite an exemplary record, another was sanction for *gasp* attending a JOB INTERVIEW! What is this country coming to? The Far-Right are destroying lives because the apathetic non-voters just sat scratching their arses instead of going to a poll station and checking “anything but tory!”

  58. Colonel Bogey (Retired)

    A good dose of the cat ‘o nine tails is what’s needed – that would soon whip the bloody scroungers into shape!!

    • Hear, hear! And about bloody time too!

    • Peter Bone FCA MP

      In the case of skiving scrounging Muslims, beat the sole of their feet raw. That’s what I would like to see done. On Sundays. Publicly. So the wife, me, and the kids could take a packed lunch, have a day out, and be entertained by the State for nothing. Hurrah! And bring back hunting with dogs! If not for foxes and stags then why not put dole claiming scum to good purpose by using them as our prey? Unpaid of course. Hurrah!

  59. Pingback: Stop Benefit Sanctions Now! | Rantings From a Virtual Soapbox

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  75. The sanctioning system is just a discrace I mean end of the day if you don’t do your jobsearch as asked then yeah maybe, but I have met people who have not been able to do them due to lacking computer skills and then getting no help. that is unfair and foodbank usage is on the rise and people are getting sanctioned for no reason half the time. which because of bedroom tax resorts them to using foodbanks. I deal with people on a regular basis who need food parcels and since sanctioning is more common it has risen dramaticially. From april the DWP estimate that sanctioning will go up to 60% which gives impression they are already going to sanction people even more for no reasons. Even if you ring the jobcentre with a ligitmate reason to why you won’t attend they still sanction you. Along with when people are on sanctions they are going to feel less than motivated to carry out jobseachs as they have no benefit to doing so which then makes things worse. Another issue is when you get an interview and needs fund for clothes or travel the jobcentre do sod all to help I was told by my jobcentre I have to give 2 weeks notice before an interview to get help which is bloody stupid. Overall the DWP are useless and just unfair to those who already have issues with money and paying housing. Recently found out that from 1st april people will get sanctioned with no prior warning no matter what 😦 .

  76. i served 13yrs in the army and served twice in iraq in 2003, when i left the army i have applied for loads of job vacancies and still dont hear from any employer, the reason for leaving the army is david camerons armed forces cuts.. next election am voting labour.

  77. Pingback: Hunting Down The Workfare Exploiters – Shame On Westward Pathfinder | the void

  78. Just had an ‘interview’ today with an advisor, after recently coming off work program. Within about 30 secs, I realised she was one of the ‘programmed’ mindless atomatons, her whole deamenour was antagonistic and acusitory in tone. Basically implying that what I was doing to find work was not good enough, I did explain that I live in a very high unemployment area, (rather foolishly in hindsight,) and that I have had not ONE reply from any of the jobs I have applied for via UJM, I explained further, that, what might well be the case, is that employers, now inundated with applications for jobs from the UJM site just do not have the time or manpower (Ironically) to administer all of these applications. Especially when they know that some people may be applying, (with no actual hope of getting said job) for these positions purely out of fear of being sanctioned. I personally, only apply for jobs that A; are within my remit and B;I have some hope of getting.
    She then, ignoring this, went on to point out that, It may be a lack of trying on my part, and that it has been explained to me previously that I, A; may have to sign daily, or B; I will have to work 9-5 doing community service. (or whatever, happy joy joy name they call it)
    I did point out that previously community service was dished out by the courts to punish criminals of lesser crimes,
    Earlier in the conversation she had pointed out that looking for work is a ‘full time occupation’, which I pointed out to her as a contradiction of the requirement to do forced labour, she then explained, that 9-5 is forced labour, then a further two hours work searching.
    I knew this was coming and I can feel the tension arising in me, next week is crunch time, I will be picking up litter, or painting fences or tending roadside shrubbery, or I will be Sanctioned, Lose my Housing benefit, my JSA, etc, etc. you all know the rest. This woman, had a glib, scripted response to anything I said and I, being a reasonably good judge of character, she didn’t have a shred of humanity left in her. At the end of this interview I felt completely drained, I actually at one point felt strangely compelled to divulge the locations of the hidden Jews. Such was this woman’s use of her unending supply of supreme power.
    I guess, she was “Just following orders”
    I really have had enough, But here is my fundamental point!
    To what end is the creation and subsequent castigation, humiliation and punishment of the poor? This is not an end in its own right, The end is not even people forced to turn to criminality to merely subsist, which will massively boost crime rates in the UK, the end is then the, ‘What needs to be done to rid the country of this blight,’ solution. A kind of final solution, lets call it. Where the Untermenschen are rounded up. How? Build more prisons, install more CCTV, give the police more powers, have more police, silence Dissent wherever it appears. Close sites like this down!
    The rational, informed and logical statements given previously by others only serve to back up my fears. But this is just how they wanted it isn’t it!
    Wasn’t it Noam Chomsky who posited “Manufacture of Consent”!

    “Cities full of hatred fear and lies,
    withered hearts and cruel tormented eyes,
    Scheming demons dressed in kingly guise,
    beating down the multitude and scoffing at the wise”
    “A Farewell to Kings” (Music: Lee, Lifeson, Peart) Rush

    Its here folks, welcome to the New World Order,

    • Do we have the same adviser? or have they all attended NLP classes? I have just completed MWA,what did A4E do to earn their fee? SFA!

      I have actually found a charity that I am willing to volunteer at,within walking distance,I informed the JCP adviser and filled out the JCP form,everything is hunky dory,actually NO,the adviser is worried that putting in 16-18 hours a week may disrupt my job searching activities,I pointed out that I had been performing 30 hours a week MWA,what is the difference? The fact that it is not mandated? or that the Bitch actually handed MWA out as a punishment.

  79. Why does nobody except benefit claimants realise that people on benefits are paying tax on their benefits? they pay tax to contribute towards the benefits system when working and pay tax on any benefits claimed its a double whammy. its time people woke up to this truth.

  80. A fortnight after a friend had the same, I had my income slashed to zero after a traumatic assessment in which the “Dr” they sent didnt pay attention to anything I was saying. He didnt seem like any Dr i’ve ever dealt with, though he did profess profusely his “really real” medical Dr status at the start. I learned later that perhaps he wasnt some psycho they carefully select for the role, or at least needn’t have been, as it is the system itself that imposes the most absurdly implausible, ignorant and cruel criteria, where you need to score 15 out of 17, even though any sane, rational, compassionate individual could easily see almost any single one of those 17 criteria could be enough in itself to mean someone is unfit for work or in some cases, like mine, unfit for even being on their jobseekers program. i scored 6 of 17 according to them… though i looked at the report that came back… i think the best way i could characterise it is to say “well he got my name right”. so here’s the rub… this isnt the first time this has happened to me. they did this [same assault] to me before, and my condition completely inhibited me from being able to proceed with their mandatory reconsideration and appeals process, not to mention becoming EXTREMELY exacerbated (life riskingly so) by the intense overwhelming stress of the whole situation. so that was 3 years on zero income, with a condition that among other things massively impedes my ability to get out and interface with the world, until a massive accomplishment for me, going to a [genuinely really real] Dr, that time a year and a bit ago, managed to get something that helped me get through the trauma enough to get signed up, and shortly after it was found out due to the complexity of my condition i was risking my life every time i took that medication that had got the ball rolling, and so had to stop ever taking it, but had at least managed to get that one push i had needed to get signed up again. i was no longer on zero income again, and could start to pay off some of the debts, and maybe trying to repair injured or faded friendships incurred when getting by on zero income (even though i was cared for enough by those around, at their cost, that i wasnt going to starve or go homeless [~lucky me… others, not so lucky… i think about the social devastation such a policy is causing across the lands subject to this~]). but nope, that’s over now. they’ve cut me off again, zero income, with that stinging “appeal or go on jobseekers” offer. And so now i know what it takes to get back, their avenues of remedy too traumatic for me, and … well, i still have a couple boxes of that stuff that can kill me… i could maybe try taking some of it, playing russian roulette, not just one day to get a form fill and fill it in, but however many times it wil be needed during some arduous appeals process… o_O … it is really hard to not think this is deliberate. not just incompetence, not mere neglegence, but an INTENTIONAL breach of duty of care. excuse me? what? a breach of duty of care, which is not just out of incompetence, nor neglegence, but intent?! so… someone would be going to prison right? frankly, i think we go sacking/prosecuting/imprisoning all from whoever was complicit in inaugerating such an insult to social security, welfare, decency, throughout government and parliament and the labour party, and those who’ve continued and deepened it through the tory times, and those who’ve enforced it, as they at least have perpetrated a breach of the duty of care law at the level of negligence, which is still considered criminal. and if anyone was breaching the duty of care law here by mere incompetence, that still means they should lose their jobs! … instead of being allowed to continue to screw over those who cannot fight back.

    … this tirade i’ve just rambled and ranted is likely all i’ll do, … a little cathartic release in a depressing terrorised sea of hopelessness.

    some of us cant fight for ourselves, so we are at the mercy of all else… and it can be pretty scary when all else has at least the appearance of leaning further to some perverse maliscious sadistic trauma orgy at [y]our expense, while good men sit doing nothing.

    PS, great article. there are times when you get caught up in the self doubt and actually start to believe the bullshit they spin at you. “oh, maybe i was claiming benefits inapropriately”, “oh, maybe i am fit for work” and other such thoughts that dont really fit with the violent spasm endured while thinking it. this article really helped lift my spirits. it is REALLY MASSIVELY encouraging to know that there’s sense, and decency, and honour alive and well out there too. THANKYOU good people! Thankyou for not letting us fall to desperation and criminality, starvation and death, and all the rest of that social rotting. Thankyou for building things better, in whatever ways you can… sometimes, even if all it is, is pointing out how egregeously offensive, despiccable and down-right expensively counter-productive something is for picking on the weakest, helping bring an end to it.

  81. I am currently unemployed I have been sanctioned in the past, i’m desperately looking for work, I want to work, ive dobe everything I can to work but as of yesterday ive been put on the 2 year work programme and first day was full of crap, all they are making me do is go in to daily job search and its costing me travel, I do

    • Apologies because phone crashed so It I was saying I don’t think reasoning and peaceful debates will ever get through to the government because I am now living in fair as living conditions are rapidly deteriorating, as time goes on im hating the government more and more and I am wondering where the cruel people who actually put the sanctions through come from, I honestly want to see our government kicked out of power but at the same time I am hoping for violence will end their lives. one way or another I just want it to end, I want life to go back to normal, I don’t want to live in fear and poverty anymore as I am sure that most of you don’t want to either so why not simply force our government out of power? In fact how on earth did most of the population in the UK even allow benefit sanctions come to pass when most people are low earners and middle income earners and yet it is they who suffered the most…is our country citizens becoming more stupid or what?

  82. Do any of those 38 degrees petitions make any difference? More people then any other petition signed the one on the government web site against paying for Thatcher’s funeral, but it didn’t make any difference. The arrogant Tories still said everybody thought she was great.

  83. Well, I’m on my Community work program now, Its not what I expected, However, whilst it may not quite be the ‘community service’ I mentioned earlier, it is in fact working for a commercial enterprise, as a member of staff. Alongside people doing the same job, but actually getting paid a fulltime wage. Oh, I really don’t even want to try and describe how effing demeaning and humiliating this is! According to the placement provider, this is of benefit to the community! NO, its of benefit to the employer, who gets a free employee, who they don’t have to pay. Now, here’s the really funny bit, the placement provider tells me this is ok though, because it may lead to an offer of a job, kind of like a probationary period, however, this will not be before the six month CWP period, at which point they don’t HAVE to employ me. Plus in the meantime, I still have to apply for the obligatory 3 jobs per week, which contradicts the “it may lead to an offer of a job” part, which I explained to them but, was as fruitless, as a Jewish twin in Auschwitz saying, “please don’t perform horrific experiments on me”.
    These sick, evil bastards are alright, so they have little compassion for other human beings, and/or little understanding of how they are just willing lackey’s in a MUCH bigger picture. They are the enemy within and they should be eradicated. Now, without sounding paranoid and ‘conspiracy theory’ you can bet that the DWP have agents monitoring sites such as this and using GCHQ (under the guise of prevention of terrorism) they will be recording poster’s IP addresses and putting them on watch lists.
    As in the US, if the NSA can collaborate with Google to spy on people, and use their Echelon global listening software, then the DWP can use whatever means to keep tabs on dissenters, and those undesirables who dare to speak out against the Status Quo. I can’t remember who said, “those who ignore the past, are doomed to repeat it”, but with that in mind, Refresh your memories of how the Third Reich rose to power and how it silenced subversiveness and dissent and how the Geheime Staatspolizei, (GeStaPo) was used to do just this. How a country in financial despair was twisted into the will of the Reich, by using, fear, indoctrination and reward to manipulate the masses. This is what the DWP are agents of, and they are upping the pace, Its not just the DWP of course the whole government is guilty, I hope the evil, privaliged bastards, suffer in agony for an eternity, for that.
    I’m sick of this country and grown pretty tired of living. So, there it is.

  84. Pingback: Number of People Claiming Sickness Benefits Hits Two Year High | the void

  85. What’s up to every one, the contents present at this website are really awesome for people knowledge, well, keep up the nice work fellows.

  86. I can only hope that the next sane government will hold a true and proper inquiry into these sanctions, and that the heartless criminals responsible are truly made to pay a very high price.

  87. Not only prosecute politicians for making sanctions policy. but prosecute all civil servants enforcing sanctions,

  88. Pingback: Benefit Sanctions: the good, the bad, don’t let it get ugly | Flippant Irritating and Boring

  89. I totally agree, to leave people with no means to live is totally appalling and benefit sanctions are cruel and immoral.

  90. Pingback: Benefit Sanctions Are State Terrorism And Must Be Stopped Without Exceptions | Jickinayne

  91. whats happening to our country . . today . . I have no income . .its a fact the government stopped my only income (incapacity benefit) last October . this means I no longer pay council tax . . I REALY have no idea what to do . . the government simply are not intereted in helping me .

  92. This link doesn’t work any more
    That’s what you get when you attempt to download the full report.

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