NO! to Benefit Sanctions – Assemble 12pm at Hartshead Square, Sheffield, outside the Jobcentre Plus office.

NO! to Benefit Sanctions Stop Welfare Cuts NOW! National Day of Action Thursday 19th March 2015     Sheffield Trade Union Council today pledges its full support to UNITE Community’s National Day Action against Benefit Sanctions.   Assemble 12pm at Hartshead Square, Sheffield, outside the Jobcentre Plus office.   On the day after George Osborne’s “Double Austerity” Budget, UNITE Community members who represent those not in paid employment (benefit claimants, unemployed workers, students, unpaid voluntary workers etc) will be linking up with trade unionists to protest this Government’s massive attack on Benefit claimants.   Martin Mayer, Secretary of Sheffield Trade Union Council said “We stand foursquare behind those who are bearing the full brunt of George Osborne’s austerity – those who are least able to afford it. Social Security payments have been frozen or held below inflation for 5 years under this Government causing real hardship to those unable to find work or who are in work but cannot earn enough to support themselves in Britain’s low wage zero hours economy. In fact the majority of benefit claimants are in work – and 90% of all new housing benefit claimants are working”. Today’s protests which include one in Sheffield outside the Job Centre Plus Office in Hartshead are focusing on Benefit Sanctions. “Benefit Sanctions coupled with the draconian way in which disability assessments have cut ill and disabled people off benefits unfairly have caused shocking hardship and poverty in Sheffield and elsewhere. Suicides and mental health problems are just some of the terrible outcomes of this policy” said Martin Mayer. “In Food Bank Britain, decent people hang their heads in shame – no civilised society should treat the least well-off and most vulnerable in this way” he said.   Up and down the country today there are protests organised by UNITE Community against the cruel use of sanctions. A sanction is when the Job Centre removes some of, or completely stops payment of benefits. Sanctions are often handed out cruelly and without justification. Examples of claimants being sanctioned include;

  • For arriving minutes late to a Job Centre meeting.
  • Not applying for jobs when waiting to start a new job!
  • Missing an appointment on the day of the funeral of a close family member.

In recent years, the number of people sanctioned has been going up and up. Over 2 million welfare claimants have had money taken from them in just the past 2 years. That’s 2 million people, many of whom have been plunged into poverty, unable to heat their homes or even eat. Sanctions cause huge misery, let’s put a stop to them together.     Stand up against sanctions – pledge to join an event near you. Sign our petition calling on the government to stop using sanctions.     Secretary; Martin Mayer UNITE                                      President: Bob Jeffery UCU Tel: 0747616453         website:       email:   Sheffield Trade Union Council Front Door Letterbox Trades and Labour Club 200 Duke Street Sheffield S2 5QQ