Since the Tories returned to power in the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition the attacks on the poor,the unemployed and the sick and disabled have increased. Although some of the measures were originally started by the previous Labour government there have been ever increasing policies implemented designed to persecute those on benefits
Here is a round up of a few of them which shows where the war on the poor is at right now..
Workfare: Although the Work Program is failing and even though many companies have pulled out in participating in the work for your dole scheme there are still many who are using unemployed people being forced to work for their benefits. This mainly includes charities such as the British Heart Foundation which have rightly faced protests from anti workfare activists. Workfare has been exposed as a sham which has nothing to do with getting unemployed people work experience but all to do with giving corporations and charities free labor. It has also been shown not to lead to paid work as hardly anyone sent on the scheme gets a job at the end of it. The right wing media has smeared the anti workfare movement as lazy workshy hippies and Tory politicians have labelled the program’s opponents as “job snobs” which shows the desperation of those who try to defend it.
More sanctions: There have been increasing benefit sanctions under the Coalition. Whilst the government and their media propagandists defend benefit sanctions as a means to stop claimants shirking work and not adhering to Job Center rules campaigners have exposed the increasing number of sanctions which are for trivial and stupid reasons. Claimants are having their benefits cut off for ridiculous reasons such as being a few minutes late for an appointment or because they didn’t attend an appointment with the Job Center because they were attending a job interview or even a program the Job Center sent them on. There is also the targets culture at the DWP which has resulted in Employment Advisors tricking claimants into being sanctioned in order to meet targets for the number of people they must sanction in a week. Sanctions are being used as a means to attack the poor and the vulnerable in society and are nothing short of a war on the poor.
The possibility of smart cards for benefits: The Tories claim people on benefits are blowing their money and the money of the “hard working taxpayer” on alcohol, drugs and gambling. So they want to bring in pre paid smart cards in and do away with actual cash payments for JSA and ESA to stop this. This means all benefit claimants will be branded as wasteful spongers who spend their money on alcohol and drugs and will also allow the government to control what benefit claimants spend their money on. This is an attack on civil liberties and must be opposed.
More hate from the right-wing media: The vile right-wing tabloid press have increased their attacks on the unemployed and the sick and disabled by peddling the rhetoric of the Coalition government. The Daily Mail was at the forefront of attacking and smearing the anti-workfare movement as apologists for lazy benefit spongers and painting benefit claimants who took the DWP to court after being forced to work for their benefits for high street companies like Poundland as “job snobs” who think stacking shelves is beneath them. The Sun newspaper gives platforms for hate filled bigots like Katie Hopkins to spew bile against the unemployed and people on sickness benefits. The mainstream news media is mostly sympathetic to the government’s attacks on the poor and completely scathing towards the unemployed. Thankfully there are lots of good people speaking out against their hatred and exposing the lies they peddle.