The commons work and pensions committee will look into the issue of benefits sanctions next year, following a petition set up by the sister of a former soldier, David Clapson, who died after his jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) was sanctioned.{jcomments on}

The coalition government have refused to launch a formal inquiry into benefits sanctions, in spite of growing evidence that they have been applied in an unfair and arbitrary manner. An inquiry was held this year, but only into whether information about sanctions was being effectively communicated.

However, Gill Thompson, the sister of David Clapson, launched a petition which has attracted over 200,000 signatures after her brother died from lack of insulin following the suspension of his JSA.

As a result of that petition the work and pensions committee has decided that they will look into the issue, in spite of the government’s reluctance.

Writing on the website, Gill Thompson thanked everyone who has signed the petition:

“ We did it - MPs will hold an independent inquiry into the benefit sanctions that killed my brother David.

“My brother David was an ex-soldier who worked for 29 years but died, starving and destitute because he was penalised by the Job Centre for missing a meeting.

“Now thanks to the more than 211,000 people who signed my petition - the Government will be forced to investigate whether stopping and sanctioning his benefits contributed to his death.

“This victory is not just for David, it's for all vulnerable people who need a safety net in tough times.

“I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported this campaign. You are the ones that have helped make all this possible. Your wonderful support has forced MPs to act.”

You can read more on this story in the Mirror and on the BBC website


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