If you want an example of the glassy-eyed idiots currently handed senior positions at the DWP then the twitter feed of the regional manager responsible for 149 Jobcentres in Central England is a good place to start.
When not attending tax payer funded leadership and emotional intelligence workshops, Sandra Lambert seems to spend most of her day tweeting ‘inspirational’ claptrap from her feed @CEDirector_WSD
The most disturbing thing is that she is not alone. This nonsense seems to extend across DWP management.
The Jobcentre is starting to look more like a cult than a public service. And like most cults behind the bubbly and uplifting facade lies cruelty, exploitation and abuse. Here’s some more of Sandra’s motivational tweets, along with some words from the victims of the current sanction happy regime in Jobcentres.
“I have been told by staff at the Jobcentre that people like me are ‘scrounging scum’, and told ‘you don’t look sick, you’re lying’”
MIND report into the impact of benefit conditionality on people with mental health conditions: Fulfilling Potential? ESA and the fate of the Work Related Activity Group,
“When some [staff] talk to you on the phone it is in such a derogatory way that you end up walking away wanting to end your life. Confidence and assertiveness takes a real hit.”
“losing my benefits brought back that feeling of insecurity and struggling… it brought me back to the behaviours that I was used to in addiction.”
High Cost To Pay Homeless Link report into benefit sanctions.
“I explained to my Jobcentre adviser that I suffer severe anxiety and IBS and cannot always leave my home; I gave doctors letters but she said if I didn’t attend [Work Programme provider] she would sanction my money. I had no choice but to go as I cannot pay for food and heat already. I attended the twin training centre and had an anxiety attack. I had to leave and find my way home feeling very ill and frightened; a horrific experience.” Fulfilling Potential? ESA and the fate of the Work Related Activity Group,
Caller E is being threatened with a sanction by her work programme provider. She is unable to leave her two daughters alone – one of whom has health problems – to attend back to work courses in the summer holidays. No help with childcare costs has been offered.
Gingerbread report: Single parents and benefit sanctions, November 2014 (PDF)
“My mum has been taken to court and fined for not being able to pay the shortfall in council tax and is struggling to pay the rent arrears accrued when I was sanctioned and the strain has quite literally smashed our family to pieces – I feel like a burden on her and have felt suicidal on more than one occasion.”
“My partner also cares for me so he was left incredibly stressed and upset from this situation [being sanctioned] due to firstly no money (he has to look after me full time pretty much) and secondly my conditions and mental state became so hard to cope with (it also affected his mental health, he attempted suicide when he could not cope).”
“Starved and lived off what I had [due to sanction]. Scrounged food from bins and only left the house after darkness fell. Had no electric or gas so had to get ready-to-eat food. Struggled and went without nothing for 3 days with just bread and a block of cheese that my friend kindly gave me as it was past its sell by date.”
“The stress put us both in hospital with stress-related problems. We were refused hardship payments but later got this [revoked] because we went to CAB and Shelter. It had a massive effect on our son, who at one point was being considered for going into care because we couldn’t provide for him.”
“I wasn’t long out of a safe house for domestic abuse I tried to commit suicide and my doctor had to put my medication up and I have to get someone to collect them weekly.”
All from Punishing Poverty, Manchester CAB report into the impact of benefit sanctions.
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