Sanctions Update

Unite takes action against government attacks on ‘vulnerable’ benefit claimants

Britain’s largest trade union, Unite, will kick start a nationwide campaign tomorrow (Wednesday 4 February) against benefit sanctions which are pushing people into poverty and punishing debt.

The campaign, to stop benefit sanctions, will be launched on the same day that the House of Commons work and pensions committee questions Esther McVey, the minister for employment, over the government’s sanctions regime.

Unite is angry over the way the government imposes benefit sanctions to ‘vulnerable’ claimants – leaving millions of people in poverty, debt, ill health and angry.

On Thursday 19 March, Unite is calling for trade unions, charities and community campaigners up and down the country to take part in a ‘National Day of Action’ with Unite Community Membership, as part of the campaign.

Unite head of community membership, Liane Groves, said:

“It is no wonder people are angry. The government has hit millions of vulnerable people and their families with benefit sanctions – causing the rise of food bank Britain.

“Sanctions are cruel and ineffective – often handed out for no good reason.

“We want to send a message to Esther McVey and Westminster that the government is failing to support vulnerable people in our society.  More needs to be done to support us all in time of need – not make personal situations worse.

“Thursday 19 March is a national day of action to highlight the ‘shocking’ impact of government benefit sanctions – we must join forces to stop this now before more people are forced into poverty.”

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