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Thursday, 10 March 2016

No Benefit Sanctions Day 2016 Report

David Clapson remembered at No Sanctions Day 2016

Demonstrators tell DWP, "Cuts kill."
Location: DWP Caxton House HQ on
No Sanctions Day 2016
There was a day of actions against benefit sanctions on 9th March 2016. Benefit sanctions are when our benefits are stopped for a period of anything from 4 weeks to 3 years if we fail to comply with DWP requests. However, being late for an appointment that you never got told about, can land you with a sanction. Hundreds of thousands of people are sanctioned each year. The Government saves millions of pounds off the welfare bill with this policy.

Being sanctioned has led directly to despair and suicides. There are 95 cases that the DWP is aware of. In April 2012, former KUWG member Nygell Firminger committed suicide as a direct consequence of homelessness that was brought on by rent arrears resulting from a benefits sanction. The 95 people were remembered at the protest. today (9 March 2016).

Tapestry of names of vulnerable people who died in sanctions-related-deaths
David Clapson was someone who was also sanctioned. Without money, he could not chill the medication that he needed to treat the type 1 diabetes that he lived with. He died within a week of being sanctioned.

His sister, Gill Thompson, has led a campaign to have an inquest or inquiry into his death. The Government has refused that request. She handed in a petition to the DWP asking them to have an inquest or inquiry into her brother’s death – as per photo below. Footage of his sister speaking to the crowd has been uploaded to youtube. She is also campaigning for the government to implement the recommendations of a review of sanctions. She is now crowd funding a campaign to challenge that refusal. To support her campaign go to: www.crowdjustice.co.uk/case/david-clapson

A DWP official hears from demonstrators.
Location: DWP HQ, Caxton House on No Sanctions Day

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