Nearly 70,000 job seekers have had their benefits withdrawn unfairly …Oh..? Without cause? At random? Just because someone in the DWP felt like it?
Policy Exchange says almost a third of all people who break their job search conditions for the first time have their benefits taken away by mistake and face unnecessary hardship as a result.Ah. I see. There are rules. They break ‘em. What’s so hard to understand?
Guy Miscampbell, the author of the Policy Exchange report, said: "It is clear that there are a significant number of people who have their benefit taken away from them unfairly. Four weeks without any money is driving people to desperate measures including a reliance on food banks".Oh, food banks! Those much needed charitable…
The claim is made in a BBC Panorama documentary broadcast on Monday evening, which found that over a third of local authorities in England and Wales were providing funding for food banks, despite government claims that charity food is not a part of the social security system.
"Food banks are an inadequate plaster over a gaping wound," Dowler said.Really? Because, to me, they seem like a combination of a middle-class employment generation scheme and a way of ensuring that, once again, there are no consequences…
Policy Exchange suggests issuing first-time offenders, who may or may not have been fairly sanctioned, with a 'yellow card' in the form of a benefits card. It says this would be a more compassionate way of trying to help people back into work. Benefits would be accessed via this card for a maximum of eight weeks.
If the claimant continues to breach job search conditions, the card and benefits would be taken away. This system would provide a safety net, mitigating hardship while a sanction is appealed, forcing claimants to re-engage with Jobcentre staff and deterring non-compliance through the added inconvenience of daily sign on.Inconvenience? Well, I suppose having them miss a live episode of ‘Jeremy Kyle’ is something (they’ll just set their Sky 3D box to ‘series link’, though) that a think-tank drone believes is a fitting trade-off for throwing taxpayer’s money at ensuring there are no possible consequences to the workshy.
Pass the biscuits and the fancy coffee round the table again. What’s next on the agenda?