All Stick no Carrot
A ‘sanction’ for UK unemployed or unwell on welfare, is having their money stopped, for what is often reported, more or less justification. All in a system that almost certainly knocks out any sense those working for it care, or depending on staff, are necessarily fair in their judgment. The are tough terms and then there’s abuse.
In 2014 sanctions run at 5% across the UK, 686, 000 of them. Numbers per claimant are down, but so are the number of claimants. No doubt a drop again this year and largely why.
The jump in severity each time someone’s sanctioned quickly becomes months or more. It possibly includes rent, obviously being paid (therefore...). You still have to carry on when this happens to remain on it and regain eventual re-payment or face longer delays. When sent on a volunteer placement, again, job-search that’s a job in itself, carries on. This to bring in a required number of completed applications. Two jobs also reflect offers most common and pushed. One that obviously doesn’t pay anywhere near which should to be taken, ‘while’ you find the second one to top up.
Nothing unreasonable here eh? Except for those doing... or should I say, under... it.
Benefits in the UK are being revoked by this backdoor. What’s unsurprisingly telling, is it’s going do be done with widespread incompetence and unnecessary malice. A systemic final boot in everyone’s dignity. Leaving aside wider economic questions, it’s a broken deception.
2014 in Scotland, almost 48,000 people were given no warning - “no more money” Judith Duff reported for The Herald in Scotland this due to an ‘administration error’. Believe that or not? The ‘error’ also happening in the rest of the UK.
Judged on the overall intention to squeeze and monitor commitment to be finding work is blatantly undermined in goals that don’t rhyme or reason match. It forces many people to jump through job-search hoops, patently not about genuine job-seeking. Hours a day of blunt time-wasting. A mind scrambling, batter people to bits. ‘Insanity doing the same thing expecting...’
No imagination to have a regime that keeps the desired pressure up but couples with genuine support. Instead a small industry of sub-contractors that reputation has it, are attendants ticking-boxes for a turn-up, with no mandate or means to do more than assist: Job-search. Could be tailored and empowering but is bland, glib and sometimes a galling sham.
Virtually no-unskilled jobs available but no excuse for this hypocrisy for help. All about a unemployment figure massage-down. Outcomes from forcing people to do what they cannot achieve, into jobs they invariably don’t survive. At least more up-skilling value and encouragement. There’s some but not anywhere enough. Can’t afford that. Yet can social and mental health services, the growing number of casualties?
This cannot be excused as professional or working. A circle of madness, turning those most vulnerable into understandable psychological train wrecks.
Stories shared and some admirable fight-back/advice websites can be found. Good on em. People talking out, should get more more attention and in the UK support. But it’s not a popular cause (although what is?). Empathy our underlying weakened ground, needs breaking up for some growth.
At least let’s respect the ones speaking up - and watch. Support and shout out. This isn’t about easy answers but accountability to claimed intentions.