We have the right to eat. This is a basic HUMAN RIGHT. However, it seems the coalition government think otherwise.
Benefit sanctions have jumped to a shockingly high level since the coalition came to power. Since May 2010 an astonishing 2,257,000 claimants on Jobseeker’s Allowance have had their benefits referred for a decision on whether to cut their benefits for a fixed length period. The sanctions are in place from one week up to three years leaving people starving and unable to pay for for let alone their utility bills. The DWP’s statistical footnote explains that ‘prior to April 2010, a Failure to Attend Advisory Interview attracted an entitlement decision. Since then, it has attracted a fixed length sanction of between 1 and 2 weeks.’ It is this kind of sanction which accounts for 1,150,670 of all sanctions – by far the largest number, this category has only come in to play since the Coalition took office. 487,980 reported failures to participate in the Coalition’s Work Programme are recorded since July 2011. The fixed length sanction regime can last a longer than two weeks but the period of 1 to 2 weeks is what is recorded in the DWP’s notes. It is simply incomprehensible that the rate of sanction should increase from 5,000 per month to over 100,000 purely because new conditionality has been built in to the claims regime. It should be remembered that these figures only relate to those claiming Jobseekers Allowance, the DWP has yet to publish full figures for the Employment & Support Allowance.
Government Unemployment numbers are closely related to the above figures, so it is easy to assume that these sanctions are being imposed as a way to reduce the unemployment statistics.
In another news item, the savage impact of welfare cuts was laid bare yesterday as Citizens Advice Scotland launched an emergency guide to surviving with NO food or money.
In an admission that harked back to the time of Charles Dickens, the charity said they were forced to produce the document after being swamped by pleas for help from people left destitute. Many have resorted to taking out payday loans and are using food banks just to keep going.