The knock on effect of Benefit Sanctions

Having came across a Freedom of Information Request on the internet I have decided to blog this one because it is a birds eye view of what the Government do not see and furthermore how these sanctions were enacted into legislation without just due process and rightful cross examination to ensure that these sanctions do not cause harm and suffering to children.

This FOI Request goes as follows:

The Effects of Sanctions on the Teaching Profession by J Holt

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

I am a deputy head of a junior school in a deprived city area and  I’m having a lot of problems with the effects of benefit denial/sanctions on my pupils’ and their respective parents’ please allow me to elucidate. Almost every day we are having to deal with the effects of so so-called welfare reform and when I had to deal with another extremely distressed parent today – who’s been sanctioned for not looking for enough jobs – it was the last straw,

So my questions are:

Q1. Do you realise the effect that your sanctions and refusal of benefits are having on the most vulnerable in our society? These are some examples of the disruption caused to me and my colleagues by the DWP because you have refused benefits to parents.

a)  Child A’s mother came in the school and explained her husband had been sanctioned on JSA and she had no money for the electricity (she was on a pre-pay meter) to launder her two children’s uniforms, nor did she have money for food.

b)  Child B had to move home because of the bedroom tax, the parent couldn’t move B into a school nearer to their home as they were
full to capacity, so they have to travel on a bus to school, recently he couldn’t come to school because of benefit sanctions,
the mother said they had no money for food and the DWP said they weren’t allowed any whilst her partner was on sanction.

c)  Child C’s father is disabled, however, he recently lost his benefits because you said he’s no longer disabled, children C’s
mother was beside herself with stress as she explained to the head how her husband had had all his money taken off him and was denied benefits for appealing against the decision, the situation became that dire for this particular family that I had to get social
services involved to help them.

d)  There’s dozens of cases I can relate to you, however, today was the last straw when a single parent told me her daughter had been
absent because the sole fell off her only pair of shoes and she had
no money because of sanctions to buy another pair.

Q2 Why have we i.e. teachers’ got to be social workers because you are denying benefits? Do you realise the devastation you are
causing to the most vulnerable because of sanctions, etc? Because it’s a proven fact:

• Parents’ can’t feed their children or put clothing on their backs

• Take them to school due to lack of money

• We can’t find school places for families constantly on the move –
we have refused a lot of families a school place that moved because
of the bedroom tax.

• Our social workers’ are frazzled and overworked because we have
to keep asking for their help for our pupils whose families are on

Q3 Are the DWP going to pay schools for the disruption you are causing parents’ and the whole teaching profession?

Q4 I realise your motto is make work pay and the taxpayer should not have to fit the bill for those that don’t want to work, notwithstanding this, I and my colleagues are taxpayers and you are making our lives very stressful and our jobs much harder with your draconian measures and teaching isn’t the only profession to be hit by problems caused by sanctions/denying benefit (a neighbour of mine is a paramedic who recently had to attend to a diabetic-disabled person that had not eaten for 3 days because he’s disability had been stopped and he’d no money and this isn’t an isolated case) so my question final question is why are you needlessly sanctioning people? And have you any idea what effect your’re having on

(i) Children?
(ii) The teaching profession?
(iii) The medical profession?
(iv) Social Workers?

What do you think this is costing the taxpayer? And society in

Yours faithfully,

J Holt