‘No one should die penniless and alone’: the victims of Britain’s harsh welfare sanctions

I’m not going to say a huge amount about this, this awful, tragic story speaks for itself.

 

David Clapson was found dead last year after his benefits were stopped on the grounds that he wasn’t taking the search for work seriously. He had an empty stomach, and just £3.44 to his name.

We know that David Clapson was actively searching for work when he died because a pile of CVs he had just printed out was found a few metres from his body.

But officials at the Jobcentre believed he was not taking his search for work seriously enough, and early last July, they sanctioned him – cutting off his benefit payments entirely, as a punishment for his failure to attend two appointments.

Clapson, 59, who had diabetes, died in his flat in Stevenage on 20 July 2013, from diabetic ketoacidosis (caused by an acute lack of insulin). When Gill Thompson, his younger sister, discovered his body, she found his electricity had been cut off (meaning that the fridge where he kept his insulin was no longer working). There was very little left to eat in the flat – six tea bags, an out-of-date tin of sardines and a can of tomato soup. His pay-as-you-go mobile phone had just 5p credit left on it and he had only £3.44 in his bank account

Thank you very much to the Guardian, their full story on this tragedy can be found here.

I don’t think I can possibly comment further, and keep my temper, but what I do want to know is this

  • Iain Duncan Smith – do you really think that was a Proportionate response by DWP to a failure to attend two meetings?
  • Does Her Majesty’s Government truly have so little regard for life that they can allow this to happen in their name?
  • David Cameron – What sanctions do you envisage against the Civil Servant  who stopped this poor man’s benefits TOTALLY, and with so little regard for his life?
  • Can Her Majesty’s Government assure us that this will NEVER be allowed to happen again?

If you are as appalled as I was about this story (and let’s be honest, even if only some of it is 100% accurate, it’s still appalling) please consider signing Mr Clapson’s sister’s petition here

Finally, is this really the sort of Government Policy that Great Britain wants or deserves?  I’m not in favour of Benefits Scroungers in any way, shape or form, but I AM totally opposed to the State acting in such a high-handed manner as to lead to the death of anyone, let alone an ex-serviceman.

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