I’d like to say I was surprised upon hearing about a new sanction trap for Universal Credit (UC)) claimants but I’m not, afterall it’s not exactly the first time they’ve done this to unsuspecting claimants.
This time it’s been disguised as supposed help to move claimants into work.
The new scheme which has surprisingly been condemned by members of the DWP staff union PCS despite jobcentre workers are being offered a £250 ‘incentive’ to implement it.
The newly named Additional Jobcentre Support scheme requires UC claimants being forced by the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) to attend their allocated Jobcentre 10 times over a two week period.
Claimants that are unable to attend or failing to participate in one session will highly likely to lead to a sanction.
Undeterred however by the cruelty of this new scheme the DWP are being ‘trialed’ at 60 jobcentres across England and Scotland.
As already proven by myself and many other like-minded campaigners these so called trials are usually the start of a national roll out regardless if they’re successful or not.
To add incentive to roll out this terrible scheme the DWP are offering a £250 bonus in the form of a voucher “to recognise and reward jobcentre teams who furthest exceed their aspirational targets.”
These vouchers will be given to each member of staff in the best performing jobcentres.
No explanation has so far been given as to what the alleged “aspirational targets” consist of and if this involves taking people off benefitif claimants have failed to comply for whatever reason. Nor has the DWP commented if it involves sanctioning claimants or forcing claimants into unsuitable and insecure work.
The PCS union, which represents DWP staff commented saying that they have no doubt that the main purpose of the scheme is to make life harder for claimants, saying:
“Our members will see through this pilot for what it is – a government hellbent on making it more difficult for people to claim benefits and which will increase the risk of poverty for those customers who fall foul of this pilot. Asking more customers to travel more often into jobcentres does nothing to help our staff or their workloads and does nothing to help the customers find the work that they need.”
However as I have already stated this isn’t the first time that the DWP have issued financial targets to incentivise cruelty.
Previous examples of this are ‘Sandras Stars’ which consisted of a Jobcentre manager giving DWP employees a star on a leaderboard for every employee that ‘offloaded’ sanctioned a claimant.
https://wp.me/p1Awq-2cd Sandra’s Stars
And who could also forget this example back in 2015. Of course they denied that this happened but the truth was all too obvious.
If there’s one thing that the government likes doing the most is implementing cruelty to the poorest and most vulnerable the very people.
The government and their henchpeople the DWP target social security claimants the most because they’re less likely to fightback and demand they’re treated fairly.
Most are worn down with the constant compliance requests that they’re hounded with.
They know that people claiming any form of social security are already paying the highest price for the cost of living and energy bills prices.
Many are primarily focused upon trying to get by from day to day and are less likely to know their legal rights and how to appeal DWP decisions.
Let’s hope that the PCS DWP staff members rebel against the mandate given to them from the government and their managers. If they do they deserve our support.
Please read, share, tweet and email this blog post. It’s vital that we raise awareness on this subject and many of the others that I have published previously.
Also a huge thanks for the support that you my subscribers and readers have shown me in the last week. I really can’t thank you enough, I couldn’t do this without you and I appreciate it.