Dying Penniless and Alone: the Reality of DWP ‘sanctions’. Fight Back!
This article in today’s Guardian is heart-breaking.
No one should die penniless and alone’: the victims of Britain’s harsh welfare sanctionsDavid Clapson was found dead last year after his benefits were stopped on the grounds that he wasn’t taking the search for work seriously. He had an empty stomach, and just £3.44 to his name. Now thousands of other claimants are being left in similarly dire straits by tough new welfare sanctions.We know that David Clapson was actively searching for work when he died because a pile of CVs he had just printed out was found a few metres from his body. The last time he spoke to his sister, a few days before he died, he told her he was waiting to hear back about an application he had made to the supermarket chain Lidl.
But officials at the Jobcentre believed he was not taking his search for work seriously enough, and early last July, they sanctioned him – cutting off his benefit payments entirely, as a punishment for his failure to attend two appointments.
Clapson, 59, who had diabetes, died in his flat in Stevenage on 20 July 2013, from diabetic ketoacidosis (caused by an acute lack of insulin). When Gill Thompson, his younger sister, discovered his body, she found his electricity had been cut off (meaning that the fridge where he kept his insulin was no longer working). There was very little left to eat in the flat – six tea bags, an out-of-date tin of sardines and a can of tomato soup. His pay-as-you-go mobile phone had just 5p credit left on it and he had only £3.44 in his bank account. The autopsy notes reveal that his stomach was empty.
Sign, Sign this “An online petition calling for an inquiry into his death has gathered 43,000 signatures.”
We are heartened that the site Job Seeker Sanction Advice which following the notice on the Respect For the Unemployed & Benefit Claimants news, we gave publicity to a few days ago is really taking off,
One group of former DWP employees has set up a free online advice service, jobseekersanctionadvice.com. The founder, a 54-year-old grandmother who left the DWP in 2011 and who asked to remain anonymous, says she became uncomfortable with having to implement policies that she believed were designed to punish people for making small errors. Last Monday morning the site had 200 emails, most of them requests for assistance, but six of them offers to help staff the site, two of them from former DWP employees.
Iain Duncan Smith, ‘Lord’ Freud and his other band of cronies have blood on their hands!