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Priti Patel Refuses To Look Into The Effects Of Benefit Sanctions On Claimants’ Mental Health

November 3, 2015

The Government on Monday refused to investigate the effects of benefit cuts to thousands of people’s mental health.

Department for Work and Pensions minister Priti Patel, who earlier this year sparked outrage for suggesting a reintroduction of Britain’s death penalty, claimed any examination of temporary sanctions’ effects would be “misleading” in isolation and should not be investigated.

“There are many factors affecting an individual’s mental health,” she told MPs on Monday, adding: “To assess the effect of sanctions in isolation of all other factors would be misleading.


“There are a number of checks built into the system to support all claimants including those with mental health concerns.”

Despite being urged to launch a review by the SNP’s Callum McCaig, Patel claimed there was no evidence that sanctions notably affected people with mental health problems – an allegation that runs contrary to independent research.

Sanctions do have an effect on claimants’ mental health, previous research has said

In January, a consortium of churches published their own report which found more than 100 people per day with mental health problems were being subject to sanctions – a higher rate among those with physical ailments.

Some 83 per cent of Work Programme participants with mental health issues surveyed said the scheme’s “support” had only made their mental health problems worse.

The Methodist Church, Church of Scotland, Church in Wales and mental health charity Mind all then piled in to rebuke the Government, the former’s policy advisor commenting: “The fact that this system punishes people for the symptoms of their illness is a clear and worrying sign that it is fundamentally flawed.”

But Patel insisted jobcentre staff were properly trained to deal with welfare recipients’ mental health problems.

“Our staff are trained to support claimants with mental health conditions … claimants are only asked to meet reasonable requirements, taking into account their circumstances, their capability, and their mental health services,” she said today.

“There is no evidence to suggest that mental health claimants are being sanctioned more than anyone else.”

5 Comments leave one →
  1. philipburdekin permalink
    November 3, 2015 2:59 pm

    What an asshole, she’s in the wrong job, she should be working for the nazi party but then again mmmm.

  2. November 3, 2015 6:37 pm

    Needs to sit in (without the staff knowing) at various job centre’s and hear for herself how people are treated.HER STAFF act under the orders of her and her boss IDS. so she knows very well how they are treated.. even if she was made to do that she would still cover her ears and deny it.

  3. Sarah Davis permalink
    November 5, 2015 11:56 am

    “staff were properly trained to deal with welfare recipients mental health problems”??!! Utter rubbish. When I was forced to go there when my ESA was stopped I was told by staff that “now is the time to pull yourself together”. I left in tears, couldn’t go back and had to go for 6 weeks without any money at all

  4. November 13, 2015 7:14 am

    Reblogged this on markcatlin3695's Blog.


  1. Priti Patel Refuses To Look Into The Effects Of Benefit Sanctions On Claimants’ Mental Health | Same Difference | sdbast

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