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Tuesday, 3 March 2015

'Savings' for taxpayers - who pays?

The following poster picture and screenshots were received via the PCS Twitter feed following broadcasting of the Channel 4 Dispatches documentary Britain's Benefits Clampdown.

Conservative, Lib Dem and Labour leaders on that documentary trumpet being hard on benefit claimants. Those same 'leaders' elsewhere proclaim the virtues of the UK having 'free speech'. Exposure of these documents helps point to these leaders' hypocrisy. Who gives the orders? Do they give a damn what happens to claimants dispossessed  by their sanctions and clawbacks?
Jcp staffroom poster 'Benefit Savings from Sanctions' — charted against claimant age-band and sanctions duration
'Team manager' email exorting 'team members' to issue more sanctions — aka 'DMA referrals'
Email from manager expresses 'disappointment' at [only] 7 DMA referrals (across all areas)
Manager 'very pleaed to see perfomance has increased across the team' [but disappointed at those that 'have not sent any DMA referrals'
Managers are under pressure in a chain of bullying

The ex-jobcentre staff interviewed in the programme state that management policy was the key driver of benefit sanctions. The above images substantiate that claim.

Let us ensure that it is not only the secretly funded taxdodgers' alliance (sorry, Tax Payers Alliance [sic]) who are interviewed on the programme that have a voice. Some of us receive 'silent screams for help' via frequent phone calls from vulnerable claimants.

While maintaining confidentiality, we can help to get the voting public and at least some parliamentary candidates to think how they would respond to having money clawed back out of their bank accounts, leaving them in over £300 rent arrears in very little time as the jobcentre tells the council's housing benefits people to stop sending the claimant HB on account of their 'change'. Such claimants feel extremely frustrated by processes of 'mandatory reconsideration' and the 'top down' nature of telephone contacts with the Department for Work & Pensions.
They are not statistics or percentages. They are human beings and should be treated as such,
— Dispatches: Britain's Benefits Clampdown 
as Gill Thompson, the surviving sister of deceased JSA sanctions fodder claimant David Clapson, says; and a mother who was sanctioned says in the same programme:
I don't think pregnant mothers should be sanctioned, because it's not just you it's affecting, it's an unborn child.
"An unborn child" — into what sort of world and what sort of distorted 'public opinion'?

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