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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Benefit sanctions are a 'hard read' for Britain's learning disabled

you have the right not to be treated badly or
punished in a cruel way

—An Easy Read Summary of "Human Rights and Adults with Learning Disabilities" a Report by the Joint Committee on Human Rights

Why isn't Prime Minister David Cameron prosecuting jobcentre staff for undermining safety and welfare? Surely he is appalled that a jobcentre in the constituency of Wigan (a town in Greater Manchester, England) sanctioned a vulnerable and reclusive man with learning disabilities, who is unable to tell the time, because he arrived four minutes late for a jobcentre appointment. The man was therefore unable to afford food or electricity, and starved for five days.

Labour MP Lisa Nandy, shadow civil society minister, told fellow parliamentarians about how a vulnerable person in her constituency of Wigan suffered after having his benefits taken away under the controversial sanctions regime.

“Several times this year I have had to refer a gentleman with learning difficulties to Denise (the local Reverend) for food due to him having sanctions on him for turning up late," a local councillor had told her. "The gentleman can’t tell the time and is a recluse. He has been found sitting in his flat in the dark with no electric or gas. He won’t ask for help."

"Only for the old neighbours watch out for him and contact myself heaven knows what would of happened to him. I was informed he has to get a letter off the doctor for an electric card…The lad turned up at my door the other night. He hadn’t eaten for 5 days. He looked like he was dying.”

MP Lisa Nandy: "The man I am talking about is the fourth case of someone with learning disabilities being sanctioned that I have come across in my constituency office this month."

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