Jamie Hailstone 25 May 2016

Benefit cuts driving people into despair, report warns

Benefit cuts driving people into despair, report warns image

Benefit sanctions are driving people into destitution and despair, according to local government and third sector groups in Salford.

A report into the Government’s controversial Universal Credit scheme by the Salford Taskforce – which includes Salford City Council and Citizen’s Advice – concludes that instead of encouraging people into jobs, the new benefits system is making life harder for vulnerable residents.

Salford city mayor Paul Dennett said young people ‘live in dread of being sanctioned’ and are abandoning benefit claims and instead relying on food banks and other voluntary support groups.

‘Over 60% of referrals to Salford Central Food bank are for people who have been sanctioned,’ said Mr Dennett.

’We are particularly concerned about young people who don't have strong literacy or IT skills or who have unsettled or chaotic home lives with no access to computers. They need intensive help from support agencies which are struggling to cope with the demand and are often sanctioned for not trying hard enough to find work, often at pay rates below the Government's new minimum wage of £7.20 because they're under 25,’ he added.

The report is the latest in the series by the taskforce into the effects of benefits sanctions and it adds that while the overall number of sanctions has decreased nationally, it has risen for people living in the local areas of Eccles and Worsely.

‘Often the same people are sanctioned multiple times instead of tackling the underlying problem,’ added Mr Dennett.

‘We heard about one man who is deaf and has learning difficulties who has been sanctioned five times for being unable to complete work search diary sheets and cope with appointments.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Mayoralty & Business Manager

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£41,292 - £50,034
The Mayoralty & Business Manager will be responsible for maintaining the reputation of both Mayoralties and promoting a positive image of... London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Joint Assistant Director - Communities and Wellbeing

Babergh & Mid Suffolk
£75,000
Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils are at the forefront of joint working and are a progressive award-winning partnership Ipswich, Suffolk
Recuriter: Babergh & Mid Suffolk

Customer Services Assistant - Annualised Hours

Essex County Council
£18029 - £19329 per annum
Customer Services Assistant - Annualised HoursPermanent, Part Timeup to £19,329 per annum pro rataLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Customer Services Assistant - Annualised Hours

Essex County Council
£18039 - £19329 per annum
Customer Services Assistant - Annualised HoursPermanent, Part Timeup to £19,329 per annum pro rataLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Practice Supervisor - Children & Families Service - Northallerton

North Yorkshire County Council
£39,880 - £43,857 per annum pro rata + relocation support
An exciting position has arisen for an enthusiastic, well-motivated Practice Supervisor to join the Northallerton team. White Rose House, Northallerton. We very much promote flexible working with the ability to work remotely from a variety of bases as well as from home, whatever makes sense and is suitable to provide the best service.
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue