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DWP staff admit inflicting ‘psychological harm’ on claimants

shawn mach
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rightsnet.org.uk

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Joined: 14 April 2010

From Disability News Service:

DWP staff and managers deliberately inflicted psychological harm on benefit claimants, engaged in unofficial sanctioning targets, and pushed disabled people into work despite the risk to their health, shocking new testimony has revealed.

The evidence comes from new interviews with 10 civil servants who worked for the DWP and its contractors under the coalition government between 2010 and 2015.

They spoke – on the condition of strict anonymity – to academics from Sheffield Hallam University, who have now shown how the introduction of a more punitive social security system, with harsher benefit sanctions and conditionality, inflicted years of “institutional violence” on claimants between 2010 and 2015 ...

More: https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/dwp-staff-admit-inflicting-psychological-harm-on-claimants-during-coalition-years/

Paus17
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Epping Forest CAB

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Joined: 6 May 2014

I wonder if this kind of conduct, and other, maybe less egregious but still poor behaviour by DWP, might in future fall foul of clause 59 of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. It replaces the old common law offence of “public nuisance” wit a new offence which seems to me to be wide enough to cover this kind of thing, involving as it does, potentially, an act or omission which causes serious distress to a section of the public, and where the person doing it is reckless as to the consequences. (See page 21 onwards of the House of Commons Library briefing attached.)

Maximum sentence 10 years imprisonment…

 

 

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