One issue that people don’t seem to talk about is the people who are on probation for whatever reason and are sanctioned. One gentleman came to us yesterday when we made an impromptu visit to Ashton Jobcentre. He was angry and quite rightly so. This man had been in trouble with the police in the past and was now trying to get his life on the straight and narrow. He attends probation which he said that he likes, they are helping him. The only problem that he has is the Jobcentre. He’s been put on universal credit and the Jobcentre staff are refusing to a knowledge his probation terms and conditions. They are saying that he has to go out of the house when his curfew is on and they have told him that they expect him to have the Internet at home. As a result this man has been sanctioned because he cannot break his curfew and neither can he afford the Internet at home. He’s been sanctioned and can’t afford it. They have told him that they won’t help him make telephone calls which is normal so he had to use his last £10 to buy credit to make a phone call to appeal to the 0845 number that they provide. He’s only just managed to get his own place to live after being homeless for a long while and had stopped committing crimes. He went in to say that he cannot starve but he doesn’t want to end up having to steal and loosing his flat. He said that the probation service are struggling enormously with problems arising from the DWP. They are struggling to cope and have tried to contact the DWP but they just get shunned away like a member of the public. They aren’t happy. They want their clients to make a success of their life’s but the Jobcentre are making this impossible. Universal credit obviously isn’t helping those who need the help most. A person is a person who deserves help even if they have committed a crime and they should be helped as much as possible so they don’t re offend again. This government are setting them up to fail and it’s very very wrong. I feel that this is an issue that needs to be taken further and the DWP needs to start recognising their complex needs.
A lady who often talks to us was telling her about her ongoing issue last Thursday. She’s been sanctioned since October for allegedly having a man that she’s never heard of living with her. She has proof off this amd has submitted this proof on three occasions, even offered the DWP to put cameras up in her house!! She’s never heard of this man!! They still aren’t listening and she’s still sanctioned. Now this is very wrong. She’s provided every bit of evidence that she can but she can’t win. It seems that they have picked a name out of a hat and have decided that he is living there. I shall keep you posted on this issue.
Whatever happened to innocent before being proven guilty? According to the DWP you are guilty before being proven innocent. Now that’s something to think about because that’s how they regard you. Your just a number and your life doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters are their targets and reach them they must.
Join us at your local Jobcentre this Thursday in the national day of demonstrations against sanctions. We will be outside Ashron Jobcentre will you be outside yours?