This morning I was really pleased to speak at the launch of the Salford City Partnership DWP Benefit Conditionality and Sanctions in Salford - one year on report.
Big thanks to the Task Force members for producing this invaluable report.
It was striking that back in 2014 the last sanctions report concluded that strict benefit conditionality, the threat of and use of benefit sanctions, do not encourage someone to move from benefits into work as the government has suggested.
Instead they simply target the most vulnerable and push them into destitution and in fact further away from employment.
It was also very concerning that research showed that voluntary sector organisations in the City were increasingly having to step in to support claimants who are thrown into crisis due to benefit delays and sanctions.
Since becoming an MP a year ago I have seen some truly horrific benefit sanction cases in my office. Some where the effects have been so severe mental and physical health has been severely damaged.
Who can forget the horrific case of David Clapson – the man found dead in his flat from diabetic ketoacidosis, two weeks after his benefits were suspended.
His sister discovered her brother’s body and found his electricity had been cut off, meaning the fridge where he stored his insulin was no longer working.
Speaking to the Guardian in 2014 she said: “I don’t think anyone should die like that in this country, alone, hungry and penniless . . .
They must know that sanctioning people with diabetes is very dangerous. I am upset with the system; they are treating everyone as statistics and numbers.”
This is shocking and I think it highlights that sanctions are not just immoral they contravene human rights.
The latest report published today shows where we are in Salford today, one year on from the original report.
Sadly, local case studies collated over the last year illustrate the devastating impact sanctions have on the lives of people who are already struggling to make ends meet.
Full report will be available shortly on the following website:
Please also follow the brilliant work of Salford University and other academic bodies across the UK into welfare conditionality at: