Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Sanctions Equal Food Banks.

with 47 comments

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 Picture  above Via:I'm a JSA claimant

 Tuesday 24th of March 2014. Independent.

Iain Duncan Smith has refused to meet with Britain’s biggest food bank charity for over a year – but has instead held discussions with an American investment bank about tackling child poverty.

The Trussell Trust confirmed again today that its chairman Chris Mould had still not been granted a meeting with Iain Duncan Smith, despite reports as far back as 2013 that he had requested one.

But this week the Department for Work and Pensions disclosed under government transparency rules that Mr Duncan Smith had held a meeting about child poverty with the US investment bank JP Morgan Chase.

Thursday 9th April 2015.

Food Banks Concentrated In Areas Hit Hardest By Benefit Sanctions, Study Finds (Guardian).

Austerity policies such as cuts to welfare and local services are driving the rapid spread of food banks in the UK, according to an academic study.

The Oxford University research shows emergency food aid is most concentrated in areas where there are high levels of joblessness and benefit sanctions.

The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition persistently refused to acknowledge a link between its economic and social security policies and the explosion in food banks.

But the Oxford study, published in the British Medical Journal, shows demand for food parcels is strongest where poverty is accompanied by restrictions on, and reductions in, social assistance.

It concludes: “More food banks are opening in areas experiencing greater cuts in spending on local services and central welfare benefits and higher unemployment rates.”

The study, which uses data supplied by the UK’s biggest food bank network, the Trussell Trust, finds food banks operated in 20 UK council areas in 2009-10. By 2013-14 they existed in 251 areas.

At the same time, the rate of food aid distribution tripled between 2010 and 2013 from about 0.6 food parcels per 100 people to 2.2 per 100.

There were stark variations between local areas, from a low of less than 0.1 food parcels per 100 people in Lichfield, Staffordshire, to a high of eight parcels per 100 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

These in part reflected the fact that some areas had more or longer-established food banks, the study found.

Even taking this into account, higher rates of food parcel distribution were still “significantly associated” with welfare cuts and austerity measures.

In particular, the prevalence in an area of benefit sanctions – where unemployed claimants who do not meet jobcentre rules have their payments stopped for at least four weeks – was a strong indicator of food parcel use.

“Food parcel distribution is higher in areas where food banks are more common and better established, but our data also show that the local authorities with greater rates of sanctions and austerity are experiencing greater rates of people seeking emergency food assistance.”

A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “The government spends £94bn a year on working-age benefits and provides a wide range of advice and assistance for anyone in need of additional support.

“The vast majority of benefits are processed on time with improvements being made year on year and the number of sanctions has actually gone down.”

The lead author of the study, Rachel Loopstra, said it was likely to have “underestimated the true burden of food insecurity in the UK” because food aid provision is patchy and data collection is relatively crude.

She called for further research to capture the full extent of food insecurity and food bank use in the UK. One of the last acts of the coalition was to reject a cross-party call for the government to collect robust data on food poverty.

The study is the latest in a string of separate reports linking welfare reform to food bank use, from poverty charities, churches, MPs, and food banks.


Written by Andrew Coates

April 9, 2015 at 3:53 pm

47 Responses

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  1. News Bulletin for the unemployed.

    Not happening just yet, but don’t go – it’s off to prison for a while. but then again…………..

    This applies to every able bodied person in the UK between the ages of 18-41.

    A Bill to provide a system of national service for “young” persons; and for connected purposes……….



    April 9, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    • Starting with the young.


      April 9, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    • Regulations shall provide that the scheme must extend the scope of the National Citizen Service and include the following elements—

      (a) educational assistance for those participants who have yet to attain
      basic educational requirements of reading and writing in English and

      (b) coaching and instruction to attain basic levels of physical fitness,
      personal discipline, smart appearance, self respect and respect for

      (c) instruction in personal financial budgeting, household bills, nutrition,
      cooking, time keeping, life skills, tolerance towards others, treating
      elderly and disabled people with dignity and respect; and

      (d) instruction in basic aspects of the law in relation to the most common
      offences involving young people.


      April 9, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    • And will G4S, A4E [usual suspects] be running the Work House these youngsters will be forced into? It sounds residential to me. I wonder if the Westminister Gang will be invited to ‘Help’ the young people…

      Need any Chinneys swept will be the cry of the G4S/A4E hawkers… Ahh back to the old days of Beer, Bingo and Whippets


      April 9, 2015 at 9:42 pm

      • The armed forces cuts and the fact that not so many are joining up, well maybe because no one would like to come back from war with parts of their body missing. it probably will be G4S etc, it does though sound being an ” inside” workhouse, those that are in prison will agree.


        April 9, 2015 at 10:01 pm

      • “Treating elderly and disabled people with dignity and respect”

        Targeting the pensioners for all they can get.
        And the disabled, what dignity & respect.


        April 9, 2015 at 10:28 pm

      • It is residential enigma or part residential anyway.



        April 10, 2015 at 10:06 am

      • Yes, it would have to be, part of the time with what they have in mind for the young people.


        April 10, 2015 at 10:13 am

  2. Annos

    April 10, 2015 at 11:35 am

  3. Remember when scientists suggested consuming to much vit c could increase your chances of cancer, well now there suggesting BEING OVERWEIGHT REDUCES THE CHANCES OF DEMENTIA.


    I suppose now the tories will have to decide which one costs the most to treat.


    April 10, 2015 at 11:36 am

    • Air pollution warnings.

      I wonder, has it grown proportional to the amount of jobs this government created ?


      April 10, 2015 at 11:45 am

      • “we don’t really care about air pollution, we want everyone to be working/slaving away”.


        April 10, 2015 at 12:24 pm

      • Im inclined to agree enigma as they didn’t include work unless of course their saying it isn’t a physical thing ?

        So any one listening in London, don’t work today as its not conducive to exercise the mind, we wouldn’t want you to help drug lords and large corporate businesses evade tax at the cost of your health.


        April 10, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    • Then I’m doomed 🙂


      April 10, 2015 at 12:11 pm

  4. New Iain Duncan Smith response to food banks:

    Andrew Coates

    April 10, 2015 at 11:39 am

  5. I am making a Freedom of Information request regarding schemes
    piloting programmes aimed at in-work claimants – including
    sanctions on benefits – announced by your department to start April
    2015. I would appreciate information on the following:

    1. Where will these pilots be located?
    2. How will they operate and what will working claimants be
    expected to do?
    Please supply outlines of programmes, courses, schedules and
    3. By what mechanisms will sanctions be applied to working
    Please supply details of communications with Housing Benefit
    departments in affected areas, or other relevant agencies.
    4. What providers are contracted to administer these programmes?



    April 10, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    • To be honest enigma I really don’t think even the government knows how and if it will work yet, still no harm FOI them in the meantime.

      Where I believe this will effect the working public is with those working less than 30 hours which if you ask me is a bit hypocritical with a government that by far and large only succeeded in creating mostly part time and zero hour jobs in the past five years.

      Makes you think WHY anyone should give this government credit for creating work that they are planning to condition and possibly sanction you on whether you take it or not, I mean there threaten you with a sanction if you don’t take a zero hour contract, yet will continue the threat because you did.


      April 10, 2015 at 1:59 pm

      • I’ve never “FOI” the DWP Gaia, I seen it today so I thought I would post it on here for anyone who might want to know the response from DWP. reading the response though it states people will be randomly selected, not though those who are disabled etc.


        April 10, 2015 at 2:29 pm

      • The most important question whether working or not is,


        a question not even the works and pension select committee dare ask while probing inwork conditionality and or sanctions under UC.


        April 10, 2015 at 4:12 pm

      • I have looked at several FOI’s referring to UC, housing benefit and sanctions. this is one of them.

        Once you have combined Housing Benefit into Universal credit if someone is then sanctioned and they are renting a property. What will be the reduction of Housing Benefit payments made while sanctioned, as at present there is no reduction under the current system and jobseekers
        allowance sanctions do not affect Housing Benefit payments.

        Would people continue to receive there housing allowance part of universal credit and just loose there work related part
        of their universal credit ? Jobcentre Advisors have no right to stop Housing Benefit.

        The response.

        Universal Credit includes a standard allowance to cover ordinary daily living expenses similar to existing income-related benefits plus other elements relevant to personal circumstances such as the housing costs element or the child care costs element.

        A sanction reduces a claimant’s Universal Credit award by an amount never more than their standard allowance element entitlement only.



        April 10, 2015 at 4:39 pm

      • Part-time workers judged to be doing too little to find full-time work face having their benefit for housing costs sanctioned by the government for the first time under universal credit.”



        April 10, 2015 at 5:37 pm

      • According to Private Eye they’ve only tried Universal Credit out on the simplest of claims (single people, JSA etc).

        The mind boggles at their ability to cope with people on zero hour contracts.

        Andrew Coates

        April 11, 2015 at 9:50 am

  6. Sanitary period products should be more widely accessible to cash-strapped homeless people who are sleeping rough or in shelters as they often have to go without, say campaigners.

    Periods can be difficult. Severe cramps and complications can debilitate sufferers from living their everyday lives, hormonal fluctuations can cause mood swings and there is always the worry about having enough supplies and available toilets nearby.

    But there are women, and transgender people, who have it much more difficult than the average when living on the streets or in homeless shelters – as condoms are given out without charge but sanitary products are, currently, not as freely available.



    April 10, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    • The above is another topic which people don’t talk about, especially those who have never been homeless.


      April 10, 2015 at 3:51 pm

      • As is anything that threatens a parties narrative like covert plans to criminalise sleeping on streets for get it, not excepting support.

        Homeless people are without doubt the nail in the welfare reforms coffin and a very good marker like foodbanks to demonstrate how effective or not the reforms are.

        Sanctioning a homeless person cannot be said in any shape or form to be aiding the individual back into work so it appears rather than address it, parties are looking to hide it while expanding the count of uk citizens having criminal records.

        What particularly myths me is if it did come in, how are they expecting them to pay a fine when the chances are they have no benefits dew to a sanction or are they expecting to use prisons despite overcrowding as hostels ?


        April 10, 2015 at 4:59 pm

      • Yes, “never talk about reality”

        They would need to build many more prisons than there are what with the amount of people becoming homeless, there will be a lot more when UC is everywhere in the UK.


        April 10, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    • Personally I think sanitary wear should be given free to every woman!! Even though I work, I can’t justify spending money on supposed essential like moisturiser, and resent paying vat on what the government. Classify a non necessity!! If I could do without it, or find a way to adapt any thing so I didn’t have to buy it I would of by now!! As the report said, condoms and contraceptive are free!!

      kat rehman

      April 10, 2015 at 8:14 pm

      • Personally I think you should have to buy it!, you work yes, and have 3 jobs, that tells me your greedy! while I’m not because I only want one 🙂


        April 10, 2015 at 8:41 pm

      • Thinking about greedy people, I think they should all be, first, sanctioned and then sectioned 🙂


        April 10, 2015 at 8:51 pm

      • Actually enigma I’m not greedy and have no wish to do 3 jobs, my 3 jobs only bring in31 hours a week, and well over half my wages go on rent and council tax. I’m just trying to keep ahead of the next stage of lunacy, ie UC, where you can be sanctioned for not working enough hours. If I. Had one job only, working 31hours a week would you still consider me greedy??

        kat rehman

        April 10, 2015 at 9:59 pm

      • And why exactly would you want anyone to be sanctioned, greedy or other wise?? Shouldn’t we be united against them?

        kat rehman

        April 10, 2015 at 10:02 pm

      • Kat, don’t you know when some one is joking/! even the unemployed like to have some fun 🙂


        April 10, 2015 at 10:03 pm

      • I’m sorry you took it all the wrong way.


        April 10, 2015 at 10:06 pm

  7. Tesco Dont mention food bank,only local people in need. There were headlines with a possible shutdown,over publicity the Tories were uncomfortable with.Trussell’s work in the Uk And Bulgaria created a stir also which started conversations what the Uk was actually becoming.




    April 10, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    • When you have a welfare reform that your wasting billions on, a revolutionary computer system that doesn’t work, schemes that only help a third of clients, is it any wonder the tories would threaten people who stand to expose it for what it really is, even back then ?


      April 10, 2015 at 5:49 pm

      • The reality, “we’ll threaten anyone who exposes the reality of our policies”


        April 10, 2015 at 6:17 pm

      • DWP decide update their computer systems again.

        Obi Wan Kenobi

        April 11, 2015 at 10:02 am

    • K enigma I’m sorry too!!

      kat rehman

      April 10, 2015 at 10:42 pm


    Vote for CLASS WAR!!

    April 10, 2015 at 5:55 pm


    Vote for CLASS WAR!!

    April 10, 2015 at 5:55 pm

  10. It’s becoming obvious that the Establishment ( state) are creating a police state with a slave economy. They want us dead or in chains. Military service/’ citizens service’ plus privatized prison service shows which way things are going.
    As regards the Quislings of the DWP I am keeping a diary plus notes. At some stage in the near future certain individuals who work ( and bully) unemployed, sick and disabled people must face a court of justice. No matter how long it takes!

    greyhound smith

    April 11, 2015 at 8:19 am

    • “Big Society/Citizen Service.”. for everyone.

      David Cameron: 15 million workers to get three days’ paid volunteering leave each year.

      Employees in public sector and large private sector companies would be paid to volunteer, Prime Minister pledges.

      Half of the UK workforce would be given three days’ paid leave each year to volunteer, under Conservative plans unveiled on Friday.

      Every public sector worker and anyone working in a company with at least 250 employees – more than 15 million people in total – would be entitled to the volunteering leave, David Cameron is expected to announce.

      The Prime Minister will say the pledge is “clearest demonstration of the Big Society in action”.

      Currently full-time UK workers are entitled to 28 days’ paid leave a year, including bank holidays. The Conservatives propose new legislation to increase that to 28 days’ paid leave plus three days for volunteering.

      Workers could use the paid leave to carry out charity work or other activities such as serving as a school governor, under the plans, which would create up to an extra 360 million volunteering hours.



      April 11, 2015 at 10:16 am

      • Getting people “the majority” used to the idea of working for free, with just a few days of it,at the moment (for the full timers) while the unemployed (many of) are all ready working for free, full time.


        April 11, 2015 at 10:54 am

      • 3 days volunteering?

        Thanks a lot.

        What an absolutely pathetic shambles of an idea.

        Andrew Coates

        April 11, 2015 at 3:48 pm

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