Samuel Miller

The Work & Pensions Committee has called for an independent inquiry on benefit sanctions, which has, to date, been ignored by the government. There is also an urgent need for a moratorium on benefit sanctions as a result of the tragic death of David Clapson, 59; see http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/killed-benefits-cuts-starving-soldier-3923771 and http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/cruel-welfare-system-means-jobless-3923966.

Not only are Jobcentre staff and DWP decision makers incompetent and medically unqualified, they are under severe pressure to strip claimants of their benefits.

Matthew Oakley's independent review of JSA sanctions was limited in its remit to improving the way sanctions were communicated to claimants. His recommendations are relatively cosmetic and minor; that's why the DWP has agreed to implement them. On the whole, I've labelled his review a 'whitewash', for it ignores inappropriate sanctions, Jobcentre targets to take away benefits, and serious accusations by a whistle-blower of benefit claimant stitching-up.

In my opinion, Jobcentre staff are knowingly engaging in conduct that involves dishonesty, fraud, deceit, and misrepresentation. The government's refusal to agree to an independent inquiry strongly suggests that the DWP is involved in a cover-up of egregious or inappropriate benefit sanctions.

Full disclosure: Since January 2012, I have been reporting voluntarily to the UN’s human rights office, in Geneva, on the welfare crisis for Britain’s sick and disabled.

(Montreal, Canada)

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