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Smash benefit sanctions - protest outside job centre in Merseyside

Location: UK » North West » L
Smash benefit sanctions - protest outside job centre in Merseyside

Demonstration outside the job centre in Bootle, Merseyside. Protestors argue that benefit sanctions cause hardship, moving jobseekers away from the job market. Grassroots campaigners gave out leaflets and advice to people going in and out of the centre.

In the Autumn of 2012 a new harsher sanctions regime introduced by the Welfare Reform Act was implemented by the UK government. The new regime set out fixed periods of sanction for particular claimant ‘failures’ raising the minimum sanction for Jobseekers from one week to four weeks. The Citizen Advice Bureau (CAB) saw a 40% rise in advice about sanctions and hardship payments (3,000 problems) compared to the same period a year ago. CAB is reporting that sanctions are helping to fuel a rise in demand for food banks – last April a local provider in London gave out 130 boxes, this April it was 500.

Indeed the DWP’s own figures show that since May 2010 an astonishing 2,257,000 claimants on Jobseeker’s Allowance have had their benefits referred for a decision on whether to cut their benefits for a fixed length period.

Campaigners were advising people to appeal against any sanction decisions, complain about procedures, contact local councillors and MPs and finally to make sure that anyone how has sanctions against them, ensure that they make a ‘nil income’ declaration at any council one stop shop.

Monday 28th October 2013

Images by David J Colbran, contact me via my Liverpool photography website for more information or to licence the images

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