7.507 claimants on Employment Support Allowance (ESA), had their benefits sanctioned in March 2014, up from 4,698 the previous month and 2,369 In Sepetember 2013. This has taken the total number of ESA claims sanctioned to over 100,000 since the regime was disgracefully introduced by Labour.
These clamaints are in the Work Related Acivity Group (WRAG) of ESA, meaning they have been judged unable to work at present but may possibly be well enough for employment in the future. They include people with serious and life-threatening conditions including cancer. Astonishingly this group are still sent on the Work Programme, where they may face compulsory ‘back to work’ training or even workfare. Should they fail to attend any activity the private sector providers running the scheme dream up then they will have their benefits sanctioned.
These are not the only sick and disabled claimants who face sanctions. Inhumane Atos assessments have led to many people with serious health conditions or disabilties being forced to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance. According to the DWP, since the tougher new sanctions regime was introduced in December 2012, over 150,000 disabled people have had their benefits stopped. Whilst people on sickness benefits only generally lose a portion of their benefits, those on JSA can lose every penny. For people with special dietery needs or other conditions, this can prove fatal as the tragic death of David Clapson recently showed.
Appalling many of those sanctioned will have been driven into poverty due to failure to attend workfare with so-called charities and community organisations. The first names of these organisations accepting workfare placements on the latest scheme, which involves 780 hours of unpaid work, are now starting to leak out. Lanarkshire Association for Mental Health (@_LAMH_ also on facebook) have been reported to be accepting this form of workfare and have remained silent about their grotesque exploitation since being exposed. @SumoWaste have protected their tweets on twitter and also have nothig to say about their grubby exploitation after they were named and shamed on the facebook page of Edinburgh Coaltion Against Poverty. Also recently named as taking part are @DISC_Services, a so-called charity who will be receiving tax payer’s money to arrange workfare placements and who are also on facebook.
The DWP refuse to name the charities taking workfare placements, if you know of one contact Boycott Workfare to have them named and shamed.
Please sign, share and tweet the petition for an inquiry into the benefit sanctions that killed David Clapson: https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/david-cameron-hold-an-inquiry-into-benefit-sanctions-that-killed-my-brother
The latest benefit sanctions figures can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/jobseekers-allowance-and-employment-and-support-allowance-sanctions-decisions-made-to-march-2014
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