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Boycott Workfare is a UK-wide campaign to end forced unpaid work for people who receive welfare. Workfare profits the rich by providing free labour, whilst threatening the poor by taking away welfare rights if people refuse to work without a living wage. We are a grassroots campaign, formed in 2010 by people with experience of workfare and those concerned about its impact. We expose and take action against companies and organisations profiting from workfare; encourage organisations to pledge to boycott it; and actively inform people of their rights.

Let them eat inquiries

Posted: April 17th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Sanctions | 4 Comments »
Job centres have become "sanctions" centres

Job centres have become “sanctions” centres

It is no longer a secret that benefit sanctions are causing ill health, hunger, homelessness and deaths.  The disastrous impact of sanctions and the deaths of David Clapson and others have now been widely reported.   More than 200,000 people signed the petition calling for an inquiry into sanctions which led to the Work and Pensions committee agreeing to look at the issue.  As we predicted their response is woefully inadequate.

Considering the evidence that was presented to them it is a disgrace that their final report merely calls for mitigation and for yet another inquiry.  It is very difficult to imagine any other circumstances where government policy could lead directly to the deaths of members of the public and the response from a parliamentary committee be so feeble.  This is a reflection of the extent to which the campaign of hatred against benefit claimants has created a political consensus that no longer views claimants as human beings.

Unsurprisingly the committee ignored our evidence about the wider consequences of sanctions.  The report barely acknowledged the fact that sanctions are used to force people to carry out unpaid work and does not consider the wider impact of this on the labour market.  Worryingly the report recommends further testing and segmenting of claimants by their attitudes and motivations and says that the DWP should identify and focus on claimants whose attitudes it seeks to change.  The report perpetuates the misconception that claimants require correction, threat and punishment. In short it calls for the continuation of sanctions whilst acknowledging that there is no evidence to support the policy.

Sanctions are the withdrawal of subsistence level benefits as a punishment.  They are a form of structural violence that uses the threat and imposition of poverty and destitution as an instrument of social control.  Sanctions are a fundamentally unjust and unethical policy.  They are part of a discourse that stigmatises and demeans claimants and part of a system aimed at undermining social security and disciplining the labour market. It is clear that whoever wins the election that sanctions will continue.  And whoever wins the election we will continue to resist this grotesque policy and to support those affected.  Here’s how you can help:


4 Comments on “Let them eat inquiries”

  1. 1 bookmanwales said at 8:15 am on April 17th, 2015:

    Sanctions have never been about getting people into work, no matter how many sanctions you impose 2.5 million cannot share 0.5 million jobs.
    Sanctions are about social control and wage depression, exactly as the workhouses of the 1800’s were, a job at any wage level being preferable to starvation (the starving and deaths of workhouse inmates giving an added incentive of course )
    The proof of this of course (unmentioned by any media of any party) is that record numbers of people are working ( so we are told) yet income tax receipts are lower than they were with several million less people working.
    Unfortunately for those suffering there is no end in sight regardless of who wins the election. Whilst there are members of the Blairite regime in the Labour party nothing will change, Yvette Cooper, Rachel Reeves, Liam Byrne all worship at the temple of Blair and his Tory like policies and will follow the sanction and austerity regime to the bitter end

  2. 2 Anon said at 3:55 pm on April 17th, 2015:

    Boycott Workfare – your best approach for any policy change around sanctions would be in acknowledging the SNP position, which is to temporarily curtail sanctions until a review.

    http://www.snp.org/media-centre/news/2015/mar/snp-back-expert-calls-moratorium-sanctions

    This is the best chance yet the group has of doing something that will make an absolute difference the campaign has been seeking for the last 5-and-a-bit years.

    All SNP PPCs need to be got in touch with pre-election to push for this change under the event of a Labour minority government – a power structure that may will exist in just a few weeks’ time.

  3. 3 Pension60 said at 7:00 pm on April 17th, 2015:

    THE 75 PER CENT POOR NON VOTER HAS ALL THE POWER WE NEED
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    NATIONAL HEATLH PARTY – ENGLAND

    Vote National Health Party in England and
    vote out Prime Minister Cameron and
    Health Minister Jeremy Hunt, and
    the Tory MP in the famous for being famous, Stafford.
    Bring in about 13 MPs that are anti austerity cuts to NHS

    CLASS WAR
    Vote Class War and vote out Iain Duncan Smith in Chingford and Wood Green voting area in London.
    Bring in about 12 MPs calling for double dole and pension.

    TUSC
    Vote TUSC and vote out Miliband, Labour’s Leader.

    TUSC offer to reverse rise in retirement age and so give young people more chance of jobs.

    Vote TUSC and cut 113 Tory, Lib Dem and Labour MPs in England from UK parliament.

    Vote TUSC and bring in a party 100 per cent anti austerity as ex Labour,
    sacked from the Labour party for voting against austerity cuts and
    sacked by Maggie Thatcher all those years back for not doing austerity cuts.

    VOTE SNP – SCOTLAND

    Vote SNP and cut 1 Tory, 11 Lib Dems and over 40 Labour from UK parliament.

    VOTE PLAID CYMRU – WALES
    Vote Plaid Cymru and cut 8 Tories, 3 Lib Dems and around 29 Labour.

    VOTE MEBYON KERNOW – CORNWALL
    Vote Mebyon Kernow and cut 6 Tory and Lib Dems in all of Cornwall.

    SOCIALIST GB
    Vote Socialist GB and in Brighton, with not just one but three voting areas outnumber the 1 Green MP in Brighton Pavilions voting area, by voting different:

    Brighton Kemptown – Socialist GB
    Same policies as TUSC

    Brighton and Hove – TUSC

    VOTE LEFT UNITY PARTY
    Vote The Left Unity Party and cut 10 MPs from the big parties
    They offer – Ban sanctions, end benefits cuts.

    RESULT

    400 MPs with the bulk anti austerity parties proven by deeds over the years, with whatever is left of Labour as a fill-in which must change with all these partners.

    RULES OF THE GAME

    Yougov prediction of polling on 7 May, if you do not vote different:

    277 Labour
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    28 Lib dems

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    326 MPs are the minimum threshold to rule the UK parliament.

    THE TORIES HAVE WON

    In the event of this severe hung parliament (predicted now by all the experts) then the government already in power in UK parliament has to stay in government.

    So the Tories would be obliged to remain ruling the UK.

    ONLY THE SMALL PARTIES CAN BRING ABOUT DEMOCRACY

    Only by voting the small parties can democracy happen.

    You need parties on both sides of the benches of the House of Commons for a democracy to work.

    With such a severe hung parliament if you do not vote different and bring in new MPs, there would only be the Tories in government, with Labour forever out of power.

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  4. 4 Jane Vasey said at 9:54 pm on April 17th, 2015:

    This coalition government should be made accountable for peoples deaths as far as I’m concerned. If it weren’t for their policies there wouldn’t of been desperate people committing suicide or having heart attacks due to the stress.


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