Foodbank use has risen along with the roll out of Universal Credit, The Mirror and other newspapers revealed recently. However, where these newspapers fall short is that they blame the initial six week wait for Universal Credit as causing the rise, but fail to mention Jobcentre staff being put on Performance Improvement Plans, (PIPs) if they do not sanction enough people within a week.
There are numerous accounts of this out there from previous Jobcentre staff to PCS union members, although Iain Duncan Smith at the time denied that there were sanction targets. (I mean, he lied about near enough everything else so why not?) Most of these go way back to 2011-2016, although it’s quite obvious that the UC system adopted sanctions with glee, they even feature in the introduction to UC video, where it says your payments may be stopped for failing to live up to commitments, however claimants are usually set up to fail. Who can forget the numerous people sanctioned while in hospital from ill health? Or the numerous people not receiving letters about appointments and then being sanctioned for not attending?
When someone is sanctioned under Universal Credit their payments are stopped. Politicians often cite that people can appeal the process, however during the appeal process people are left with nothing for weeks, months and sometimes years. 65% of appeals are overturned after this time, however this is only a percentage of the percent of people who appeal. Many become lost in the system, give up or worse.
The BBC reported that Foodbank use in Scotland was also at an all time high stating that:
28% of referrals were on a low income, receiving benefits (up from 22% in 2016/17)
Debt accounted for 8% of referrals, up from 7% last year
Benefits delays (22%) and benefit changes (18%) accounted for a large number referrals
Third Force News also pointed out:
More than half of disability benefits appeals lodged by Scots last year were successful. Over 8,000 challenges against Personal Independence Payment (PIP) decisions were successful in 2016/17, a Freedom of Information request has revealed
But of course, there are no sanction targets and no links between food bank use and benefits. That’s if you choose to believe the lies that fill the mainstream media echo chamber from a chorus of evil bastards who claim £35 expenses for one flipping meal while denying people £53 a week to live off of.
And now, it’s all done online, while they pretend to care about online bullies on social media. I guess no one cares if the government bully welfare claimants and make them feel suicidal.
Watch the 1 minute edit that contains just 2 examples among other things.
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