The Truth About IPP Sentences

Benefit cuts and JSA sanctions causing crime increase

Benefit cuts and sanctions are causing an increase in crime

Benefit cuts and sanctions are causing an increase in crime

Cuts to Social Security benefits such as Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) and Employment Support Allowance (ESA) are causing an increase in acquisitive crimes including shoplifting, petty theft and non-domestic burglary.

In addition, the punitive sanctions imposed on the unemployed and those receiving benefits, supposedly but not necessarily for breaching the rules, are causing untold misery, family breakup and in some cases even suicide.

As TheOpinionSite.org warned it would, the Conservative led policy of punishing the least well off in British society, instigated by Iain Duncan Smith for purely political reasons, is leaving a trail of destruction from the north to the south of the country.

Only this week, the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Derbyshire confirmed that crime in his area alone has increased by 3% on the same period last year; this increase comes after a 10 year decline in acquisitive crime rates.

This is the first time that a PCC has spoken out and confirmed that the Conservative led coalition government has embarked on a policy change that is having catastrophic effects on society.

The mealy-mouthed and sickeningly sanctimonious Minister for Employment, Esther McVey said:

“This government has always been clear that in return for claiming unemployment benefits jobseekers have a responsibility to do everything they can to get back into work. We are ending the something for nothing culture.”

What the Minister is not saying is that for many of those genuinely seeking work, the alleged employment opportunities simply do not exist.

Prime Minister David Cameron recently claimed in the House of Commons that two thirds of all the jobs on offer were full-time positions but there appears to be no independent confirmation of his rather misleading statement.

Having spoken to several job seekers as well as advisers supposedly responsible for helping the unemployed to find work, it would seem that the Prime Minister is totally incorrect in his statement, most available work being either part-time or based on a so called ‘zero hour’ contract.

According to the government, the most common reason (36%) for a sanction to be issued was that in the opinion of an adviser, the job seeker was not doing enough to find work.

Just to be clear, it is not the adviser who makes the final decision on whether or not a sanction should be issued and an appeal is possible.

Significantly however, TheOpinionSite.org could not find an example where a sanction had been recommended and not followed through.

“Not doing enough to find work” can of course mean anything that the job centre adviser wants it to mean.

The government has laid down a non-negotiable set of guidelines that require every job seeker to submit – at a minimum – six or seven job applications every week.

It should be obvious to even the most unknowing individual – adviser or job seeker – that given such a requirement, it will not be long before someone ends up applying for jobs that are not only entirely unsuitable but also impossible to obtain.

One job seeker told the TheOpinionSite.org that he had applied for work as a fireman, ballet dancer and even a policeman – even though he has a criminal record, no experience in dance and is afraid of heights.

Another thing that McVey did not point out is that 60% of benefits are paid to those in work; not the unemployed or those unable to work.

Imagine for a moment a family of two employed adults and two children who rely on benefits of one kind or another for the payment of bills and putting food on the table.

Putting aside the fact that in what is the sixth richest nation in the world such a situation should not exist anyway, further imagine the limited choices available to those parents when they discover that their benefits have been cut by a minimum of 30%.

Imagine as well what it must feel like to make a choice between keeping your children warm or feeding them; something that McVey or Duncan Smith have never had to do in their lives.

Food still has to be provided and heating turned on.

Hardly surprising then when out of sheer desperation, one or both parents turn to petty crime.

It was recently reported that the supermarket chain Asda now have a ‘rapid response’ relationship with local police in order that shoplifters can be speedily removed from Asda premises in order not to ‘upset’ other customers.

With the UK prison population back to a record high and 2.5 thousand prison spaces lost due to closures, it comes as no surprise at all that queues regularly form outside some magistrates courts as those waiting to answer charges for petty theft, burglary or failure to pay their TV licence wait their turn; perhaps hoping that given the limited spaces, they will not end up in jail.

As other Police and Crime Commissioners around the country have the courage to say what politicians and policeman are afraid to say – that government policies are causing crime rates to rise – those responsible for these draconian policies should take note.

If the Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling and Iain Duncan Smith had their way, we would see the reopening of Victorian workhouses for the poor and destitute, thus enabling the least fortunate to be even further exploited by an uncaring, selfish and power-motivated government.

The Liberal Democrats also need to take stock, given that they could have stood up to some of these vindictive measures before they were even introduced but failed to do so.

TheOpinionSite.org believes that as more and more people fall victim to cuts in benefit and DWP bullying tactics such as benefit sanctions, often handed out for the most minor infraction of the rules, crime will continue to rise.

David Cameron and his millionaire cabinet colleagues seem determined to drive the poor to utter destitution.

Obnoxious as he was, even Tony Blair did not forget the poor and needy.

Blair accepted that it was simply impossible to get everyone into work and he also acknowledged that it can sometimes be more expensive to try and force an unemployable person into employment than to simply pay a paltry benefit instead.

What we are seeing in Britain today has nothing to do with helping people but has everything to do with political ideology.

Benefit cuts do nothing to help people, particularly those who would already do almost anything to find a job and handing out unwarranted sanctions for petty misdemeanours is no answer either.

Initiating benefit cuts is bad enough but then to compound the effect by giving massive power to job centre advisers who cannot be trusted to use it properly is verging on the criminal and some might even say, insane.

The Conservative Party’s new mantra relating to ‘hard-working people’ and its ceaseless repetition is enough to make any sensible person throw up.

The sanctimonious hypocrisy of Conservative ministers and their manipulation of semantics in the hope that they may be able to pass off evil as good is equally sickening.

Ministers are prepared to lie about the figures, lie about the jobs and continue to lie about helping those who are, according to the government “trapped in a life on benefits.”

Such rhetorical nonsense does nothing to help those who really need assistance to feed and clothe their family whilst attempting to keep them warm.

Whilst all politicians think only of re-election and of holding onto power and while the Conservative party cannot be described as having ever been truly ‘compassionate’, this present administration can only be described as selfish, uncaring and evil.

TheOpinionSite.org among many others would hope that such a hated administration might find it impossible to last for much longer but, given the now endemic selfishness and moral superiority that pervades those in work and which sets them up against others who are less fortunate, the populist and unintelligent view is likely to prevail.

As the government vindictiveness continues and until the people rise up (which they will eventually), expect to see in Britain more benefit cuts, more hungry families, more deaths from hypothermia, more young people realising that their expensive but utterly useless qualifications are meaningless – and of course, expect to see more crime, more prisoners and ultimately, more social unrest.

4 Responses to Benefit cuts and JSA sanctions causing crime increase

  1. DAN
    March 3, 2014 at 12:09 am

    HAVE TO SAY WELL DONE TO THE POLICE FOR SPEAKING UP, ITS PROBABLY MORE THAN 3% IF IT WAS ON THE DECLINE, THE MIDLANDS IS JOBCENTRE SANCTIONS FLAGSHIP AREA BUT BECAUSE THEY CANT SAY IT THE MIDLANDS POLICE DONT GET EXTRA FUNDING AND THE JOBCENTRE WORKERS HAVE TO PUT UP WITH ALLSORTS. BUT HAVE TO SAY THE ONES WHO DONT COMMIT CRIME ARE VERY LAZY AND DESERVE MORE SANCTIONS.

  2. John Smith
    November 16, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    People crushed by law, have no hopes but from power. If laws are their enemies, they will enemies to laws; and those who have much to hope and nothing to lose, will always be dangerous. Edmund Burke.

  3. William
    November 11, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    Remind me, next time I sign on for JSA, to apply for jobs, I do not stand a chance for! Though, in my case, it would be, Airline Pilot or Frogman, as these were childhood dreams of mine. I am quite sure, if I kept applying for these jobs, my stay on JSA would be longer. Unfortunately, I was successful with one of my Job applications, as a Packer and Picker. The trouble for me was, the original hours of 7.50am to 4pm was, just about okay, but then, suddenly the agency changed this at the last momment to 6.50am to 6pm and as I lived quite away from the place of work and do not have my own transport and even the first bus into town, would not get me there on time, I was forced to abandon the job, but, according to the Jobcentre, this is refusing to take up an offer of work, so I will not be able to make another claim for six months. And, if this is not enough, the DWP are demanding I pay back over a hundred pounds, I can ill-afford, that they alleged, I over claimed when caring for my Dementia ridden mother. Oh!, it was their mistake and not mine, but I have not the powers to fight them, so will just have to pay. I just wish the state could be a little more robust in going after people who refuse to pay their taxes, but then, they are probably good conservatives and have access to top accountants and lawyers.

    One further comment, about Jobcentre staff, or Benefit Police, as I prefer to call them. I am quite sure most of them have a full kitbag, tabloid newspaper view, on so called, “benefit scroungers”, but when I used to go the Jobcentre in the afternoon, which, of course, I was obliged to do everyday, as part of my obligations for receiving JSA, I never noticed many to be, what I would call, over employed, most of the time, I noticed, they were sitting at their desks chatting about their future holiday’s, when they were going to pick their child up from school, etc etc, or even making jokes with the big burly Security Guard, who was hardly needed, as no one would dare make any trouble, as they would simply loose their benefit. In fact on one occasion, late in the day, when I was using the computer and was the only one there!, several of the staff, started, what I can, only describe as, “mudlarking”, ala a scene from the famous sitcom, The Office. I, of course, glared disappovingly, and one whispered to the other, in an embarrassed tone, “there are still clients here you know”. And just to think, these people, have all power over you, when you are out of work.

  4. Maxi
    November 11, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    My friend got done for shoplifting food from asda after her benefit was cut. She had already been to the food bank 3 times and couldnt go again. She is a qualified hair dresser but cannot find work and cannot afford to set her own business up.

    She had no food to feed her kid so what was she supoosed to do?

    Now she has a criminal record, all thanks to that bastard Duncan Smith man

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