Sheffield Equality Group

A sanction for those in need…

so she said “I’m going to initial it this time, but next time, put a bit more information in,” and then she just went “is this about this teaching from home thing,” and I had flu last Wednesday and I just did not have the energy to say, “Well, I’m waiting for this poxy boiler to be done and the place has to be sorted out and decorated and it’s all being replaced,” and I just didn’t have the energy to say….
Well, they’re sending off the hardship loan now. I’ve got to go back Thursday to get some food vouchers. I’m going to the hospital and they are all going to hear about this.
 
– Kate Belgrave records experiences of benefit sanctions
 
Paul was sanctioned in the first instance after his job centre advisor felt he had not completed his log book correctly.His second sanction was handed out to him as a result of being 10 minutes late to a meeting at the job centre, something he said was the result of a bus delay.
 
The third and final sanction, that resulted in the three-year cap on his benefits, came about after Paul was made to wait for an hour in the job centre to meet an advisor.
 
He complained about this delay, which staff at the centre felt was aggressive, and his unemployment benefits were capped until 2018.
 
– The Dundee Courier reports on a three year sanction forcing Paul to destitution
 
1,252,000 people, including 312,000 children, were destitute at some point in 2015
 
People who had experienced destitution said that they felt ‘demeaned, ‘degraded’ and ‘humiliated’ by having to get family, friends or charities to provide basics like food and toiletries. Destitute parents often went without things themselves so that they could provide more for their children. Many felt that destitution had a negative impact on their relationships with their children and with other family and friends, leading to social isolation. Destitution took a toll on many people’s mental health, and some reported physical health problems.
 
In 2015, destitute people reported problems with getting behind on bills (57%), serious debt (33%), benefit delays (40%) or sanctions (30%)
 
– Joseph Rowntree report on destitution in the UK
 

…to sanction those in greed

 
The story of BHS’s bankruptcy is one of theft and asset-stripping on a massive scale. Green took £580m+ out then sold the company for £1. The next owner, twice bankrupt Dominic Chappell, has taken millions more. Green underfunded the pension scheme – while paying his wife £400 million in BHS dividends, all channeled through a tax haven. Now the ship is sinking, while Green takes delivery of his new £100 million superyacht. Please sign the petition on 38 Degrees
 
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Forthcoming
What happens when the rich get richer?
Wednesday 18th May 7pm-9pm, Sheffield Quaker Meeting House
Discussing the impact of income inequality and the campaigns trying to tackle it. Hosted by Sheffield Equality Group, all welcome.
 
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Why We Need Economic Justice for Climate Justice…
How do we make the leap? Come and hear from provocative speakers, including Sarah-Jayne Clifton from Jubilee Debt Campaign, about the connections between equity, economy and climate change – and join our debate about making the big changes needed. In association with Sheffield Climate Alliance.
Tickets from EventBrite
 
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More? See: https://alt-sheff.org/
http://www.festivalofdebate.com