Protest held at Jobcentre over sanctions

This Is Wiltshire: Angel Grace and Livio and Jenny Pavone stage their protest at the job centre Angel Grace and Livio and Jenny Pavone stage their protest at the job centre

SWINDON Jobcentre saw its third protest against the Department of Work and Pensions sanctioning policy on jobseekers’ benefits yesterday.

The protest was part of a national campaign against the Government’s policy of cancelling some of claimants’ benefits when they fail to turn up to an interview, appointment, or where they refuse to go on work experience or a training course.

Angel Grace, 42, from Freshbrook, was the organiser of the demonstrations against ATOS, the firm which assesses jobseekers’ fitness to work, in Swindon.

She said: “There weren’t as many people who came along as last time but it’s still raising more awareness.

“It shouldn’t be called a Job Centre. It’s like the workhouse. We are going backwards.

“People go into the Job Centre and they are just getting depressed. They feel they are just getting punished, and people shouldn’t be punished just because they don’t have a job.

“Sanctions need to be abolished. ATOS assessments need to be abolished when GPs can provide vital evidence.

“DWP need to stop wasting billions of pounds on systems that don’t work.”

Comments (18)

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12:28pm Tue 3 Jun 14

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

There is of course a way of avoiding these sanctions completely....
There is of course a way of avoiding these sanctions completely.... The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man
  • Score: 0

12:34pm Tue 3 Jun 14

A.Baron-Cohen says...

Unemployment benefits should be scrapped all together and replaced by private insurance contributions.
Unemployment benefits should be scrapped all together and replaced by private insurance contributions. A.Baron-Cohen
  • Score: -4

1:01pm Tue 3 Jun 14

house on the hill says...

A.Baron-Cohen wrote:
Unemployment benefits should be scrapped all together and replaced by private insurance contributions.
How would that work if you have never worked or not paid enough in, would you just be left to die?
[quote][p][bold]A.Baron-Cohen[/bold] wrote: Unemployment benefits should be scrapped all together and replaced by private insurance contributions.[/p][/quote]How would that work if you have never worked or not paid enough in, would you just be left to die? house on the hill
  • Score: -8

1:01pm Tue 3 Jun 14

ChannelX says...

The Adver reporter and cameraman turning up to cover this 'event' almost outnumbered the protesters.
The Adver reporter and cameraman turning up to cover this 'event' almost outnumbered the protesters. ChannelX
  • Score: 3

1:08pm Tue 3 Jun 14

mrwoo says...

the protesters should be out looking for work. Lazy workshy buggers!
the protesters should be out looking for work. Lazy workshy buggers! mrwoo
  • Score: -1

1:52pm Tue 3 Jun 14

beach1e says...

So you claim money from the state, dont comply with the few conditions of getting that benefit ...and then moan about it...get real, get off benefits , support yourself and stop taking benefits away from those that need them.Itss about time the job centre workers got tougher on those that just want an easy free life.
So you claim money from the state, dont comply with the few conditions of getting that benefit ...and then moan about it...get real, get off benefits , support yourself and stop taking benefits away from those that need them.Itss about time the job centre workers got tougher on those that just want an easy free life. beach1e
  • Score: -3

2:11pm Tue 3 Jun 14

anyopinion says...

In the 1830s life in villages like Tolpuddle was hard and getting worse. Farm workers could not bear yet more cuts to their pay. Some fought back by smashing the new threshing machines but this brought harsh punishments.
In 1834, farm workers in west Dorset formed a trade union. Unions were lawful and growing fast but six leaders of the union were arrested and sentenced to seven years’ transportation for taking an oath of secrecy. A massive protest swept across the country. Thousands of people marched through London and many more organised petitions and protest meetings to demand their freedom.
The protest campaign proved successful and the Tolpuddle Martyrs returned home in triumph.The Tolpuddle story is about how ordinary working people combined together to defend their families. The idea of solidarity as a basic human right is now an international demand.The story of the Tolpuddle Martyrs is celebrated in the small museum in Tolpuddle and at the Festival on the weekend of the third Sunday in July.

2014 Tolpuddle Martyrs' Festival - 18-20th July
In the 1830s life in villages like Tolpuddle was hard and getting worse. Farm workers could not bear yet more cuts to their pay. Some fought back by smashing the new threshing machines but this brought harsh punishments. In 1834, farm workers in west Dorset formed a trade union. Unions were lawful and growing fast but six leaders of the union were arrested and sentenced to seven years’ transportation for taking an oath of secrecy. A massive protest swept across the country. Thousands of people marched through London and many more organised petitions and protest meetings to demand their freedom. The protest campaign proved successful and the Tolpuddle Martyrs returned home in triumph.The Tolpuddle story is about how ordinary working people combined together to defend their families. The idea of solidarity as a basic human right is now an international demand.The story of the Tolpuddle Martyrs is celebrated in the small museum in Tolpuddle and at the Festival on the weekend of the third Sunday in July. 2014 Tolpuddle Martyrs' Festival - 18-20th July anyopinion
  • Score: -1

2:30pm Tue 3 Jun 14

A.Baron-Cohen says...

house on the hill wrote:
A.Baron-Cohen wrote:
Unemployment benefits should be scrapped all together and replaced by private insurance contributions.
How would that work if you have never worked or not paid enough in, would you just be left to die?
If you put nothing in, don't expect something back!
There is plenty of work available, if you are hungry, you would take any job.
[quote][p][bold]house on the hill[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]A.Baron-Cohen[/bold] wrote: Unemployment benefits should be scrapped all together and replaced by private insurance contributions.[/p][/quote]How would that work if you have never worked or not paid enough in, would you just be left to die?[/p][/quote]If you put nothing in, don't expect something back! There is plenty of work available, if you are hungry, you would take any job. A.Baron-Cohen
  • Score: -6

2:34pm Tue 3 Jun 14

trolley dolley says...

Angel Grace says,

“DWP need to stop wasting billions of pounds on systems that don’t work.”

I am sorry love but it is wasted on people who don't work.

I don't believe people are punished because they don't have a job, if they are unwilling to work then sanctions apply.

And so they should.
Angel Grace says, “DWP need to stop wasting billions of pounds on systems that don’t work.” I am sorry love but it is wasted on people who don't work. I don't believe people are punished because they don't have a job, if they are unwilling to work then sanctions apply. And so they should. trolley dolley
  • Score: 3

2:39pm Tue 3 Jun 14

anyopinion says...

I heard desperation, despair, fear and exhaustion are commonplace. People who can’t find work. People who do work but can’t afford to pay the cost of their high rent, utility bills, and still afford to eat. People ashamed at having to rely on foodbanks. Sick and disabled people who have been sanctioned or who are waiting for a decision on their benefits. People struggling to find money to cover the Bedroom Tax. People who want to feel pride at supporting themselves and their families. People who have been labelled by the majority of the media and MP’s as lazy and scroungers. People who have lost hope. People who are afraid to speak out. People terrified of how they will cope in the future. We are all humans... Please show respect!!!
I heard desperation, despair, fear and exhaustion are commonplace. People who can’t find work. People who do work but can’t afford to pay the cost of their high rent, utility bills, and still afford to eat. People ashamed at having to rely on foodbanks. Sick and disabled people who have been sanctioned or who are waiting for a decision on their benefits. People struggling to find money to cover the Bedroom Tax. People who want to feel pride at supporting themselves and their families. People who have been labelled by the majority of the media and MP’s as lazy and scroungers. People who have lost hope. People who are afraid to speak out. People terrified of how they will cope in the future. We are all humans... Please show respect!!! anyopinion
  • Score: 11

2:53pm Tue 3 Jun 14

anyopinion says...

We know the way figures are manipulated to show a supposed drop in unemployment. They don’t show the 580,000 people on zero hour contracts. The 168,000 people on government training or employment (workfare) or the 573,000 additional people who have become self employed since 2008. The total number of ‘employed jobs’ has fallen nationally.
If we have no money as this government suggests, they should tax the rich, close the tax avoidance loopholes, reduce expenses for MP’s and the House of Lords. Get the tax owed by Starbucks, Vodaphone, and Amazon to name but a few. Why did they sell our Royal Mail so cheaply? Our country is wealthy. Austerity is not necessary. This government has borrowed more than the last. The deficit has not been reduced. Published figures show the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. The gap is widening. Barnardo’s says there are currently 3.5 million children living in poverty in the UK. Imagine, if you can, that this is a small percentage of the people suffering in Swindon. Multiply that across our country by all the people in all the towns and cities across the UK. Imagine all those people....how can we 'evolved homo sapiens-sapiens' accept such situation?
We know the way figures are manipulated to show a supposed drop in unemployment. They don’t show the 580,000 people on zero hour contracts. The 168,000 people on government training or employment (workfare) or the 573,000 additional people who have become self employed since 2008. The total number of ‘employed jobs’ has fallen nationally. If we have no money as this government suggests, they should tax the rich, close the tax avoidance loopholes, reduce expenses for MP’s and the House of Lords. Get the tax owed by Starbucks, Vodaphone, and Amazon to name but a few. Why did they sell our Royal Mail so cheaply? Our country is wealthy. Austerity is not necessary. This government has borrowed more than the last. The deficit has not been reduced. Published figures show the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. The gap is widening. Barnardo’s says there are currently 3.5 million children living in poverty in the UK. Imagine, if you can, that this is a small percentage of the people suffering in Swindon. Multiply that across our country by all the people in all the towns and cities across the UK. Imagine all those people....how can we 'evolved homo sapiens-sapiens' accept such situation? anyopinion
  • Score: 12

3:17pm Tue 3 Jun 14

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

anyopinion wrote:
We know the way figures are manipulated to show a supposed drop in unemployment. They don’t show the 580,000 people on zero hour contracts. The 168,000 people on government training or employment (workfare) or the 573,000 additional people who have become self employed since 2008. The total number of ‘employed jobs’ has fallen nationally.
If we have no money as this government suggests, they should tax the rich, close the tax avoidance loopholes, reduce expenses for MP’s and the House of Lords. Get the tax owed by Starbucks, Vodaphone, and Amazon to name but a few. Why did they sell our Royal Mail so cheaply? Our country is wealthy. Austerity is not necessary. This government has borrowed more than the last. The deficit has not been reduced. Published figures show the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. The gap is widening. Barnardo’s says there are currently 3.5 million children living in poverty in the UK. Imagine, if you can, that this is a small percentage of the people suffering in Swindon. Multiply that across our country by all the people in all the towns and cities across the UK. Imagine all those people....how can we 'evolved homo sapiens-sapiens' accept such situation?
Lots of hyperbole there but I'll just call you out on a few...

Could you explain why it wouldn't be correct to remove self employed people from the unemployment lists? Self employed people are by the nature of the name - employed.

They are taxing the rich - the richest few percent pay 77% of all tax in this country.
Expenses for MP's ,while there have been a number of reprehensible cases, are much smaller monetarily than the cost of successive government failures - their IT systems and healthcare reforms to name just a couple that have cost us dearly.
Starbucks, Vodafone, Amazon - are all paying tax within the UK law. You may not like that law (and nor do I), but changing it would require wholesale tax reform and unification across at least Europe and probably even further afield.

Oh, and the "Bedroom tax" isn't a tax.
[quote][p][bold]anyopinion[/bold] wrote: We know the way figures are manipulated to show a supposed drop in unemployment. They don’t show the 580,000 people on zero hour contracts. The 168,000 people on government training or employment (workfare) or the 573,000 additional people who have become self employed since 2008. The total number of ‘employed jobs’ has fallen nationally. If we have no money as this government suggests, they should tax the rich, close the tax avoidance loopholes, reduce expenses for MP’s and the House of Lords. Get the tax owed by Starbucks, Vodaphone, and Amazon to name but a few. Why did they sell our Royal Mail so cheaply? Our country is wealthy. Austerity is not necessary. This government has borrowed more than the last. The deficit has not been reduced. Published figures show the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. The gap is widening. Barnardo’s says there are currently 3.5 million children living in poverty in the UK. Imagine, if you can, that this is a small percentage of the people suffering in Swindon. Multiply that across our country by all the people in all the towns and cities across the UK. Imagine all those people....how can we 'evolved homo sapiens-sapiens' accept such situation?[/p][/quote]Lots of hyperbole there but I'll just call you out on a few... Could you explain why it wouldn't be correct to remove self employed people from the unemployment lists? Self employed people are by the nature of the name - employed. They are taxing the rich - the richest few percent pay 77% of all tax in this country. Expenses for MP's ,while there have been a number of reprehensible cases, are much smaller monetarily than the cost of successive government failures - their IT systems and healthcare reforms to name just a couple that have cost us dearly. Starbucks, Vodafone, Amazon - are all paying tax within the UK law. You may not like that law (and nor do I), but changing it would require wholesale tax reform and unification across at least Europe and probably even further afield. Oh, and the "Bedroom tax" isn't a tax. The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man
  • Score: 1

4:44pm Tue 3 Jun 14

BigBarry says...

ChannelX wrote:
The Adver reporter and cameraman turning up to cover this 'event' almost outnumbered the protesters.
When you were down there signing on did you see them big bum? What would your hero IDS think about a layabout like you, get a life loser.
[quote][p][bold]ChannelX[/bold] wrote: The Adver reporter and cameraman turning up to cover this 'event' almost outnumbered the protesters.[/p][/quote]When you were down there signing on did you see them big bum? What would your hero IDS think about a layabout like you, get a life loser. BigBarry
  • Score: 4

6:13pm Tue 3 Jun 14

knittynora says...

trolley dolley wrote:
Angel Grace says,

“DWP need to stop wasting billions of pounds on systems that don’t work.”

I am sorry love but it is wasted on people who don't work.

I don't believe people are punished because they don't have a job, if they are unwilling to work then sanctions apply.

And so they should.
I think she is actually referring to the money wasted by IDS on the failed implementation of his Universal Credit Fiasco A grand total of 6000 claimants, mostly single people are on UC at present as a pilot scheme. Full implementation has been delayed till 2016 and £140 million has been written off due to IT problems.
[quote][p][bold]trolley dolley[/bold] wrote: Angel Grace says, “DWP need to stop wasting billions of pounds on systems that don’t work.” I am sorry love but it is wasted on people who don't work. I don't believe people are punished because they don't have a job, if they are unwilling to work then sanctions apply. And so they should.[/p][/quote]I think she is actually referring to the money wasted by IDS on the failed implementation of his Universal Credit Fiasco A grand total of 6000 claimants, mostly single people are on UC at present as a pilot scheme. Full implementation has been delayed till 2016 and £140 million has been written off due to IT problems. knittynora
  • Score: -9

7:06pm Tue 3 Jun 14

trustnopolitician says...

More and more incompetent "private" firms cutting corners , telling half truths to make a fat profit. - Could we please our MP's in Swindon try to live on state benefit for a month? - I can only see a cowardly refusal.
More and more incompetent "private" firms cutting corners , telling half truths to make a fat profit. - Could we please our MP's in Swindon try to live on state benefit for a month? - I can only see a cowardly refusal. trustnopolitician
  • Score: -3

9:40pm Tue 3 Jun 14

Russell Holland says...

Many people on benefits work but are on low incomes. Many more would like to be able to work because they have health issues, caring responsibilities or because they struggle to find a job. Judgemental comments add little to the debate on this issue.

I believe welfare reform is necessary but there has to be a careful balance of incentives and sanctions. There also needs to be more responsible public debate as there far too emotive and unhelpful language.

I would like to see greater democratic oversight of Jobcentres. If there are issues with Council administered benefits it is comparatively straightforward to resolve some issues. If people have sanctions and are on tight finances it can have significant consequences.
Many people on benefits work but are on low incomes. Many more would like to be able to work because they have health issues, caring responsibilities or because they struggle to find a job. Judgemental comments add little to the debate on this issue. I believe welfare reform is necessary but there has to be a careful balance of incentives and sanctions. There also needs to be more responsible public debate as there far too emotive and unhelpful language. I would like to see greater democratic oversight of Jobcentres. If there are issues with Council administered benefits it is comparatively straightforward to resolve some issues. If people have sanctions and are on tight finances it can have significant consequences. Russell Holland
  • Score: -3

10:53pm Tue 3 Jun 14

KillTheTORYTROLLS says...

mrwoo wrote:
the protesters should be out looking for work. Lazy workshy buggers!
I actually know that these people work. I spoke to them I know what they do. So go and put your propaganda else where! FAR FROM LAZY! Is is lazy that they were doing this? NO! And I attended the demo while walking past and staying, and I am out of work, not through my choices and I am now depressed over being sanctioned while doing workfare. How about I work free where you all work, and you can get laid off!?? That is happening! I am about to become homeless now sleeping on couch at a friends because they sanctioned me. Well that is really helping me get work, where I am now too busy to look for a home than work. So you all can just keep on **** and spreading non facts! I am pleased to support the demo outside again, and thank everyday that the Job Centres are exposed to what they are doing! I spoke to them about my situation and they did not treat me like you trolls would!
[quote][p][bold]mrwoo[/bold] wrote: the protesters should be out looking for work. Lazy workshy buggers![/p][/quote]I actually know that these people work. I spoke to them I know what they do. So go and put your propaganda else where! FAR FROM LAZY! Is is lazy that they were doing this? NO! And I attended the demo while walking past and staying, and I am out of work, not through my choices and I am now depressed over being sanctioned while doing workfare. How about I work free where you all work, and you can get laid off!?? That is happening! I am about to become homeless now sleeping on couch at a friends because they sanctioned me. Well that is really helping me get work, where I am now too busy to look for a home than work. So you all can just keep on **** and spreading non facts! I am pleased to support the demo outside again, and thank everyday that the Job Centres are exposed to what they are doing! I spoke to them about my situation and they did not treat me like you trolls would! KillTheTORYTROLLS
  • Score: -4

8:49am Wed 4 Jun 14

A.Baron-Cohen says...

trustnopolitician wrote:
More and more incompetent "private" firms cutting corners , telling half truths to make a fat profit. - Could we please our MP's in Swindon try to live on state benefit for a month? - I can only see a cowardly refusal.
Nobody should be living State benefit!, it is not designed to sustain a lazy lifestyle, it is a temporary safety net!
[quote][p][bold]trustnopolitician[/bold] wrote: More and more incompetent "private" firms cutting corners , telling half truths to make a fat profit. - Could we please our MP's in Swindon try to live on state benefit for a month? - I can only see a cowardly refusal.[/p][/quote]Nobody should be living State benefit!, it is not designed to sustain a lazy lifestyle, it is a temporary safety net! A.Baron-Cohen
  • Score: 10

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