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Rachel Reeves ,the shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Stephen Timms, shadow Employment Minister have said that if labour is elected next year they will end targets for sanctions. But how much difference would this actually make?

According to Reeves and Timms:

“. . . we urgently need to get a grip on the delays and administrative errors that can mean the difference between eating and not eating for people trying to make a few pounds last for days. As MPs we have had to refer people to food banks because of problems like this. In one case a mother who worked three jobs as a cleaner but ended up living on payday loans because she had been forced to wait months on end to get the tax credits. We should take this kind of system failure as seriously as we do a delay to an important medical appointment or a failure to respond adequately to a crime report.

“We also need to ensure that sanctions are fair and proportionate, and based on transparent procedures and appropriate safeguards. Sanctions have been part of our social security system since its foundation, and the principle of mutual obligation and putting conditions on benefit claims were integral to the progressive labour market policies of the last Labour government, from the first New Deals to the Future Jobs Fund.

“We in the Labour movement have always believed that the right to work goes hand in hand with the responsibility to prepare for, look for, and accept reasonable offers of suitable work.

“That’s why we have pledged that there will be no targets for sanctions under a Labour government so that jobcentre staff are focused on helping people into work, not simply finding reasons to kick them off benefits. We will also ensure that rules and decisions around sanctions are fair and properly communicated, and that the system of hardship payments is working properly.”

But, without a change in the criteria for sanctions and a change in the attitude towards claimants of both politicians and the civil servants at the top of the DWP, how much difference would ending targets that are never explicitly stated in the first place actually make?

Let us know what you think.

You can read the full statement on the Labour List website.

Comments  

#5 Paul Richards 2014-11-27 22:54
Hi all,
As TheGodSplinter says - don't believe any of them at all - they are indeed liars - they all want your VOTES after all - and after that - then the 'electorate' who have voted for them can all go to hell!!
What an absolutely awful political system! All looking after themselves - and all with their snouts in the 'pig's troughs' of perks and expenses. And also, if any of you owe 'Bedroom Tax', 'Council Tax', 'Housing Benefit' or whatever, then expect the full 20 tons of 'lawful' concrete blocks to fall upon all of your unfortunate heads and necks to try to get all of this 'citizen owed' money back.

Please do not expect Labour (at present, as the way that they are) to look after you, - they will, as ever look after themselves and look after the middle and upper middle classes - just as Tony Blair started off to do and all of them have continued to do with their policies ever since. Ed Miliband is not speaking out to help the poor - any time now that he speaks out is to try to save his miserable votes.

As I see it, unless something major happens before the Election, then it's all much of the same - the poor, the disabled, the sick and the unemployed of Britain will have to do all they can to look after themselves and their families - do not expect any of the current political parties to look after you, - or for that matter to really have any of your TRUE interests at heart! They only love the POWER and the MONEY.

And, one last thing for now - yesterday morning (Nov 26th), Sky News was reporting that there was a report that a 'Lord' in the House of Lords had fiddled his expenses and had been previously jailed for it.
They interviewed him and he said that he could name 'at least 50 other Lords' who had done the same and got away with it.
Nothing was said for the rest of the day and BBC News certainly never reported any of this - (is it biased in any way?? I rest my case!!
+1 #4 carruthers 2014-11-26 10:17
IDS is cheerfully denying that any such targets exist - so it should be no hardship for a different lot of politicians to say that they have been abolished and then continue on with business as usual.
+1 #3 TheGodSplinter 2014-11-24 17:17
Every politician always lies through everything that they say. Labour are liars. Labour are lying to you. They are professional liars. Find another article and don't bother with this one...it's full of lies and nothing more.
+2 #2 tintack 2014-11-24 16:13
As with Labour's proposed changes to the WCA, this sounds OK as far as it goes, but the lack of detail makes it impossible to know if these changes would amount to anything. Will Labour be prepared to overhaul the WCA's dreadfully flawed and absurdly harsh descriptors? Will they change the sanctions criteria, especially for ESA claimants? Those are the questions that MUST be answered if we're to have any confidence at all that Labour would improve the situation. In the absence of such detailed answers, sick and disabled people will remain sceptical, and understandably so.
+1 #1 Jim Allison 2014-11-24 16:00
Who in their right mind would believe Ed Milliband, bearing in mind the Labour Party's decision to continue with the coalition's welfare reform.

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