Ms. Kerry-Anne Mendoza
Just a short note to commend you and The Canary for your superlative work in exposing the misdeeds of the DWP in various pieces, including this particular instance (The DWP was just caught red-handed 'fiddling' benefit sanctions figures | The Canary https://www.thecanary.co/uk/2018/07/19/the-dwp-was-just-caught-red-handed-fiddling-benefit-sanctions-figures/). But I would argue that the DWP aren't merely 'fiddling' benefit sanctions figures; I contend that they are continuing the nefarious practice of egregiously stitching-up benefit claimants—accusations of this sort were first made by whistle-blowers years ago (see references below) but there's an urgent need for them to resurface now, in view of your 'fiddling' piece and this latest Disability News Service story: DWP is asked why ‘not fit for work’ universal credit claimants are being sanctioned (https://www.
disabilitynewsservice.com/dwp- is-asked-why-not-fit-for-work- universal-credit-claimants- are-being-sanctioned/). In 2015, when Esther McVey was employment minister, she blamed front-line Jobcentre staff for unfair benefit sanctioning
practices instead of taking responsibility for the sanctioning regime and culture at jobcentres that she had
created. She claimed that
sanctions targets did not exist and that sanctions were only imposed as a “last resort”.
Now, as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, she and her DWP ministers have the authority to crack down on
this type of malfeasance, but have chosen not to do so because it's
being committed at their behest.
Disclosure: I am a 62 year old Disability Studies specialist—from Montreal, Canada—who since 2012 has been campaigning daily on Twitter, and communicating frequently with the UN's human rights office, in Geneva, on the welfare crisis impacting U.K.'s sick and disabled.
References: Stitching-up claimants is all part of the job, says Jobcentre insider - Ros Wynne Jones - Mirror Online https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/
uk-news/stitching-up- claimants-part-job-says- 3537051
Sanctions: staff pressured to penalise benefit claimants, says union | Society | The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/
society/patrick-butler-cuts- blog/2015/feb/03/sanctions- staff-pressured-to-penalise- benefit-claimants-says-union
It was my job to impose cruel benefit sanctions – that the DWP can’t justify | Angela Neville | Opinion | The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/
commentisfree/2016/nov/30/ cruel-benefits-sanctions-dwp- job-advisers-evidence-work
Benefit sanctions: Britain's secret penal system | Centre for Crime and Justice Studies https://www.crimeandjustice.
org.uk/resources/benefit- sanctions-britains-secret- penal-system
Benefit sanctions have failed: a Comprehensive Review is needed | British Politics and Policy at LSE http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/
politicsandpolicy/benefit- sanctions-have-failed-a- comprehensive-review-is- needed/
[July 19, 2018] DWP is asked why ‘not fit for work’ universal credit claimants are being sanctioned https://www.
disabilitynewsservice.com/dwp- is-asked-why-not-fit-for-work- universal-credit-claimants- are-being-sanctioned/
Yours very truly,