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


20 thoughts on “The knock on effect of Benefit Sanctions

  1. I don’t think the Tories want the economy to get better, as if it did they wouldn’t have an excuse to put poor people in their place and make them suffer. They have done everything they can to make poor people more poor, plus raising VAT stops people spending money, which leads to business closures, so they have done everything they can to make sure the economy stays worse.

  2. if they wanted the economy to recover they would give people more money to spend. Its not like we all want lavish lifestyles. It would just be nice to be able to afford to pay the bills, buy shopping, clothes, shoes, transport. The basics. They should raise benefits in line with inflation not take them away. Ive been on benefits since my daughters father got deported 9 years ago and they have been going down in real terms every year, while the cost of living has risen dramatically. But instead they chose to spend HOW MUCH? on ATOS to take money away from people! It probably costs more to pay ATOS than the benefits did in the first place. Then there’s the cost of appeals. Or is that why they have stopped legal aid for appeals? Even working people have been affected, having working tax credits removed with the added threat of sanctions if they don’t increase their hours, get a pay rise or get a second job!! Ridiculous as there are millions of people working part time because they can’t get a full time job even though they desperately want one. There aren’t even enough jobs for everyone to have one each so how are ALL the people who work part time expected to get another? I think the government have a very warped and wrong view of people on benefits and I don’t think they care if we live or die as long as they are loaded and living the life of luxury.

    • It is not the deficit and borrowing they keep banging on about as there is good debt and bad debt which we are in a spiral of now because the borrowing is having no effect and they are just compounding it with further cuts and redundancies what they should be doing is barrowing to invest and create growth as it is that which will bring money into HMRC and thus pay down the debt.

      Everywhere we look it is doom and gloom which is having a massive impact across all sections of society, companies and corperations are raising there prices because they do not know and have no faith in what the future holds.

      It is time to have face and dump austerity start spending and create growth in our economies to halt the redundancies that are coming thick and fast and instill some faith in citizens outlook as only that will end the doom and gloom.

  3. What I cannot get my head around is the resentment the haves feel towards the have-nots. Sometimes I wonder if it is suppressed guilt. knowing they’re comfortable & others are not & that if they’d face up to the truth the resentment is the other way round & also that 99.99% of benefit claimants are absolutely NOT the “scroungers” that popular myth likes to imply.

  4. Wake up people, Duncan smith and all his cohorts are systematically breaking this country, these Tories want to be the elite be able to do with the people if this country at a whim, not even your sons and especially your daughters will not be safe, beware ?

  5. Well I agree with the teacher’s IDs Osborne snd them in government don’t now what there doing.but when first person dies from lack food or associated illness god help them .

    • too late ….over 11000 have died so far as a direct result of these policies and without the food banks that have sprung up all over the country the total would be much higher …

  6. And why are we all buying into the myth that the unemployed and disabled and their carers are not Taxpayers? Income Tax is NOT the only form of taxation. Taken as a percentage against actual income, benefit claimants of all types pay a far higher proportion of their income as Taxes, VAT for someone shopping on benefits is a much more heavy burden than someone on a comfortable salary.

    Even those on low pay are hit harder than those with good incomes by the VAT etc that they pay on purchases, as a percentage. More to the point, it’s about time that everyone realised that everyone pays taxes of one sort or another. We are all tax payers, but using the phrase that Taxpayers should not be subsidising others ( and similar phrases) actually blinds people to the reality of who does pay tax. It also empowers the politicians and Media to keep using this pernicious propoganda against the most vulnerable in society. Which, in turn feeds the frenzy and fools many people into adopting the us and them mentality.

  7. Steve thanks for pointing this out as I have done too many times, you are correct in that we are all taxpayers in some form or another indeed their is no escaping because there are many many other taxes besides income tax and many benefits are also subject to taxation if you have meet the tax free threshold.

  8. Nurses are often in a similar situation too. The Government pays for our time yet we spend so much of it trying to pick up the pieces resulting from the effects of poor Government policy. I would much prefer to do the job I’m trained to do instead. Unfortunately the effects of my interventions won’t last if I’m just discharging people back into poverty. Regardless of the humanitarian standpoint, it’s so obviously a false economy.

  9. It is disgusting what is happening to people who are truly disabled or ill. I am hearing many stories which are turning my stomach, one lady who has been cripples with osteoporosis for 35 years and now has terminal cancer has been told she is fit for work!!! People are committing suicide because they are being told they are fit for work, what kind of government does this to there own society. It hurts me to think that those with stacks of money are able to jump through loops in the law and not pay taxes while those struggle to buy a loaf of bread will even have that taken away from them. Atos need to be openly flogged in the street for their despicable behavior towards fellow human beings. The Government need to stop this now before untold damage is done and it is not reversible.

  10. a wonderful letter! the government seem so fixated on demonizing the poor and vulnerable that they dont stop to think of not just the impact of these measures on the people whose benifits they cut but on wider society too. The torries claim they want an emphasis on family values yet they are activly destroying families and many parents’ ability to provide for there children. These measures are very similar in there clear view point of the poor, to the Uk prior to the rowntree survey. A return to the archaic view that the poor are poor because they are to lazy or have earnt poverty in some wayis a tragedy and undermines decades of progress. Shame on you David Cameron

  11. Excellent point and I totally agree. I run a facebook page called fightback and am a welfare benefits Consultant and fight these draconian decisions in the tribunals for clients. I also work for a large voluntary organisation whom have recently been told to scale down this advice as the legal aid has been reformed for welfare benefits and other social welfare such as debt advice. I see everyday the devastation these decisions make. Most people that I home visit have cold houses and explain they cannot afford heat, most are panicky many suicidal too. Something has to change very quickly as this is the tip of the iceberg with the next wave of benefit reforms in place next month and october set to strip those appealing of there appeal rate for what could be months. These people are NOT faking it.. they are genuinely disabled and desperate people with nowhere to turn as this government slowly takes away their access to justice and starves them. Its legalised, and I use that word loosely, extermination.

  12. Pingback: The knock on effect of Benefit Sanctions | Orwellwasright's Weblog

  13. It’s down right disgusting what the government are getting away with. My friend had to move house, or take in a lodger to be able to pay the bedroom tax. I don’t see the queen taking in lodgers, or paying any bedroom tax. The people have been keeping the royals all their lives. Paying for all their mansions and palaces, yaughts , holidays etc. None of them have ever had a full time job. Half of them have never worked. I use to think that the government ran the country, and that the queen ran the government. All the time it’s been the banks. I’m not racist. The royals were just an example. Something has to be done before other people die of hunger and cold. Soon it will be just the rich that survive. ( that’s been the plan all along)

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