Yesterday was a very cold day and a tough day to be standing outside. I arrived at the venue Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre. I was greeted by two people from channel 5 wanting to speak to people that are living on universal credit. They are making a programme along the lines of benefits Britain . A programme that I despise. I said to them they are more than welcome to chat to people but their programme has nothing to do with our group. I made my feelings clear about how this programme and others like it have helped to demonise the poor. They said it would be different so I gave him the benefit of the doubt… But I will not hold my breath. Programme like that do nothing to help our cause.
Onto the terrible sanction stories heard yesterday. One woman given a 4 month sanction for not attending a computer course that they had supposedly sent her a letter out for her to attend. Guess what the letter never arrived. The result was a 4 month sanction. No food over christmas. She is a shadow of herself she says. She had never suffered from depression before but she does now. By the way this is the first time that she has been unemployed.
A man living on a grand total of £30 a week because he is having deductions made out of his universal credit due to a loan he had made to pay for a funeral…
Sanctioned for changing a phone number. This man had changed his phone number. He had informed his advisor or coach as they like to be called. They had taken note of it. He saw them do it. He was sanctioned because the advisor didn’t update it and therefore it was the claimants fault thus resulting in a sanction.
A gentleman who had suffered a serious back injury and was paralysed as a result was told that he had to walk up the stairs to his appointment and he couldn’t take his mobility scooter upstairs. He was also threatened with sanction for refusing to apply for a job as a hod carrier… Remember this man cannot walk he cannot carry roofing tiles he can only get around using his mobility scooter. When the gentleman said hang on I cannot physically walk up the stairs they accused him of being aggressive!! No he wasn’t he was being truthful. How on a paralysed man do this type of job? The same advisor also criticised him for having a hobby.., how dare he have a hobby… The hobby being making figurines and very good they are too… He showed us the photos. He wants to work but Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre need to realise that he is disabled and unable to do a large amount of work. He was also told by the advisor that he needs to stop using his regional accent because it sounds too “common”!
Claimant told to wear a suit and to look smart when entering the Jobcentre.., ok when you have the money to do this.., and why should he just to look at a computer screen? Their excuse well an employer could walk in. Well sorry but the chancelike is of that are next to zero. They told him if he doesn’t smarten up they will sanction him. He looks no different than anyone else who enters the Jobcentre.
Please help us stop this!! We were shocked yesterday. These are only some of the stories we were told.
we are outside Ashtin Under Lyne Jobcentre every Thursday. Please join us. Please support us in any way you can. And to the Job centre staff please start treating claimants in the manner you would like to be treated. These people should not be talked to like this and should not be treated like this. It’s illegal and you need to stop. We are watching you. Sanctions kill and we will carry on exposing your crimes against humanity.