Author Topic: Benefit sanctions enquiry call for evidence, by the work and pension committee  (Read 190 times)


Sunny Clouds

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I hope they get some good responses.  I almost wish I'd been sanctioned so I could have an excuse to offer my views.

However, a comparison I've come across elsewhere sums up so much for me.  Jeremy Hunt & the luxury flats.

Hmm.  Time limit to declare to parliamentary register 28 days.  Time taken, over 6 months.  Government officials say "honest mistake".

Man with significant learning difficulties and unable to tell the time is 4 min late for an appointment at the jobcentre.  Sanctioned.  Minimum possible sanction period 4 weeks.  Minimum wait before you can apply for a hardship payment 2 weeks, then time to process application.

Penalty for being at least 5 months late declaring interest on register = public embarassment plus supportive comments by government.

Penalty for being less than 5 minutes late for appointment = at least 2 weeks with no money to buy food or put money on meter or jobsearch.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Sunny Clouds

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I feel almost disconnected about this.  I have no sense that anything will improve no matter how many enqiries are carried out, but people have believed that in the past and things have improved.  Who would ever have believed that the NHS would be set up, for example?

My mind is so all over the place at the moment, functioning well, malfunctioning, functioning well etc.  Yet part of me says surely someone could convince government that it would be more cost-effective to improve the system.  Yes, if you sanction people, you save the benefits and knock them off the claimant count.  But you lessen their fitness for work.  How can the 1% exploit people if they destroy them?  And they can pursue a 'useless eaters' sort of approach, but that damages those that support the 'useless eaters' and/or love them, so there are again fewer people fit to exploit.

What's really needed is a couple of influential billionnares to say "Hang on, this doesn't make us money. "

(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Fiz

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Yes sunny, and if that billionaire had insight and empathy the world may be a different place. A long time since my last visit to Ocean Village but the news of those 5* luxury flats with concierge and fitness and health spas that I used to view from the outside and realising what their panoramic views must be like from their balconies actually left me dumbfounded that some created company created for the very purpose bought several of them when I see homeless people sleeping in doorways in this city throughout the winter. Something is very wrong with this world.

Sunny Clouds

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I know that there will be those in the world at large that  won't see the connection, but I think that people here on Ouchtoo will.

Years ago, a lot of horrible things happened all at once and I lost my home and left my job.  I ended up in the psychiatric system where the ongoing message wasn't "You didn't deserve to have bad things happen to you" but "You're defective."

I was traumatised by lots of things that happened in the psychiatric system (a lot of people don't believe me when I tell them what I saw in hospital, but MPs did when I gave evidence to a parliamentary enquiry) but  more than once got back into work before leaving those jobs.   Having lost a job and ended up in hospital, I was discharged and saw my psychiatrist.  He was so utterly scathing for losing my job that I swore I'd never try to get paid work again because I wouldn't risk being humiliated like that.

I didn't have benefits.  Social Security said I couldn't get my incapacity benefit because I hadn't gone into the office on day one of my claim.  Telling them I'd been in hospital didn't help.  The mental health team wasn't interested.  I wasn't even aware of advice services and they didn't tell me about them.  After nearly two months, I ended up breaking down in a DSS office and sobbing on the floor.  How was I supposed to recover, to bounce back, when my prime concern was begging to others for food? 

In due course, I did voluntary work, but as I moved from one bit of volunteering to another, the DWP became more bureaucratic, and then adding insult to injury was the fear of being prematurely migrated to PIP and UC.  So as my existing voluntary work ended for various reasons, I didn't take up more.

And now?  I'm someone who still has nightmares, who feels bitter, who still struggles to trust people or feel confident.  Years of being humiliated and 'cheated'.  Twice in the last four years, arrears of unpaid benefits have run up to over 2k, and on two other occasions, it was hundreds.

Now compare that with how they treat jobseekers. They lose their jobs.  The message that goes to them isn't that they've had a raw deal finding themselves jobless but that they're inadequate, unmotivated, scrounging.  That must be damaging.

They go through 'back to work' stuff that's often rubbish.  They're pushed to seek jobs they won't in a million years get instead of focussing on applying for fewer jobs that they might actually get.  Having been told they're not sufficiently experienced and qualified, they get workfare and 'training' that teaches them barely anything and just emphasises that they're the lowest of the low.

All the time it's under threat of sanctions.  Even if they've any money in the bank to cushion them to begin with, they won't by the time they've waited for UC. 

Why the expletive does the parliamentary committee need any evidence to tell them the expletive obvious, that if you intimidate, harass, humilate, time-waste and starve people, it makes it harder for them to get back into work, not easier?
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

KizzyKazaer

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Quote
I was traumatised by lots of things that happened in the psychiatric system (a lot of people don't believe me when I tell them what I saw in hospital, but MPs did when I gave evidence to a parliamentary enquiry)

Having both seen and experienced dreadful happenings in psychiatric hospitals for both children and adults, I absolutely believe you!  Very glad you had your voice heard officially in the end - did anything come of said enquiry?  Oh yeah - tempted to say that psychiatrist was just an arse, but arses happen to be more useful ...

Quote
Why the expletive does the parliamentary committee need any evidence to tell them the expletive obvious, that if you intimidate, harass, humilate, time-waste and starve people, it makes it harder for them to get back into work, not easier?

There does seem a profound swing towards the stick rather than the carrot in recent times.  I signed on as unemployed during the mid-1980s and can't remember it ever being as horrendous back then.  Obviously none of said committee members have had to personally face what JSA - and ESA, PIP etc - claimants endure nowadays  >erm<

Sunny Clouds

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The enquiry was into complaints and cover-ups in various NHS hospitals and it didn't produce any public exposure as such for the trust but it was enough to get them to at least make show of doing something.   
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)