Guest blog post from Revd Paul Nicolson of Taxpayers Against Poverty
I am glad my letter was publised by The Guardian on Tuesday morning. The photo was taken outside the DWP headquarters at Tothill Street, Westminster where UNITE Community had called a demonstration to remember those who has died after a benefit sanction. They also published the link to Amelia Gentlemans's helpful article
I wrote and said the following prayer at the demo. The first paragraph of draws on the work of Psychologists Against Austerity. (https://psychagainstausterity.wordpress.com/) who have listened to sanctioned people and from my own work with people struggling with unmanageable debt imposed by the State.
We remember all who have died while their income was sanctioned,
who were overcome by any feelings of humiliation or shame,
by fear or distrust, insecurity or loneliness;
or by a sense of being trapped and powerless,
under the abuses of power by the State
in a time of austerity.
In a time of austerity we pray,
in solidarity with the 1000s of UK citizens currently suffering sanctions,
which are imposed with the maximum use of the media
to blame decent people for their own unemployment and poverty;
for the millions of UK citizens who are suffering under unmanageable debts
high rents, the council tax, the caps and cuts in social security
imposed by Parliament, made worse by sanctions.
We pray too for those in power, and seeking power, that they may find;
The courage to work for and implement social and economic justice,
The will to build a well-being state on the ashes of the welfare state
rich and poor and Parliament are in solidarity with each other.
The policies to ensure that no one will have to choose between
heating or eating,
the rent or the streets,
life or death
due to the unjust enforcement of debts
against inadequate incomes,
or no incomes at all,
due to a sanction.
In the name of Jesus Christ,
from the Reverend Paul Nicolson
Taxpayers Against Poverty
No citizen without an affordable home and an
adequate income in work or unemployment.
93 Campbell Road, Tottenham, London N17 0BF, 0208 3765455, 07961 177889,