‘Yardley ESA Challenge’ JobCentre Poster Didn’t Target ESA Claimants Insists Justin Tomlinson
Same Difference hopes this was an April Fool, but considering it was Tweeted on March 31st we have our doubts. Have you seen a similar poster at another JobCentre?
A Tory minister last night ordered a Jobcentre to take down a ‘dehumanising’ Space Invaders poster which appeared to target disability benefit claimants.
The huge poster, hung on the wall of a staff office depicts the classic arcade game, with alien enemies being picked off one-by-one by a spaceship, under the heading “Yardley ESA Challenge”.
Disability minister Justin Tomlinson said the poster would be taken down as it’s not “presented in the best way.”
But they were unable to explain what the poster was supposed to represent, or what the ‘Yardley ESA Challenge’ was.
A picture of the poster was tweeted by Labour MP Jess Phillips after it was sent to her by a constituent who took it in her local Job Centre in Yardley, Birmingham.
Mrs Phillips is set to meet the manager of the Job Centre today, and said she assumed it was “to get people off ESA.”
Mr Tomlinson replied later, saying: “This will be taken down. Definitely right to help sick and disabled into work, but this not presented in best way.”
Mrs Phillips said: “There is a feeling amongst the disabled that they are being dehumanised. Unfortunately this picture proves their point.
“People on ESA include people with cancer, Parkinson’s or people with crippling mental health problems. It’s not OK to depict them as aliens to be eliminated, however innocent it may have seemed to staff in the centre.”
A DWP spokesperson insisted the poster was an “isolated incident”, but declined to add further comment in addition to the Minister’s tweet.
The Mirror asked the DWP spokesperson if the department was speaking to Jobcentre staff to find out what the poster was supposed to represent, but they again declined to comment.