Responding to criticism from top clergy, David Cameron defends his “social and moral mission” of benefits cuts in the Telegraph today:
“For me the moral case for welfare reform is every bit as important as making the numbers add up”
Let’s see what all that morality means in practice. With the government on the back foot over their harsh benefits sanctions regime, Scrapbook can reveal that one unemployed man had his Jobseekers’ Allowance cut by the DWP for attending his father’s funeral.
The man from Greater Manchester was forced to miss his regular appointment at the Jobcentre in order to attend the family service — but was subject to financial sanction even though he informed DWP staff in advance.
Ministers have insisted that the penalties are “proportionate”.
Jobcentre staff are under pressure to meet sanctions quotas regardless of the actual behaviour of claimants — stay tuned for more detail on that later today.