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Tory minister calls benefits sanctions 'inhuman' – then changes his mind

Conservative business minister Nick Boles told charity volunteers that some benefits sanctions were ‘inhuman’ and that the system needed to be changed. However, when his comments were published in a local newspaper he quickly did a u-turn, claiming that he is a ‘strong supporter’ of sanctions.

The Grantham Journal reported the comments made by Boles during a visit to a breakfast being provided to homeless people at a church in the town.

Volunteers told Boles about a claimant who was sanctioned for missing an appointment whilst staying with his newborn baby, who was in intensive care.

Boles responded that:

“The sanctions are a worry, and do need to be looked at.

“I do understand why there needs to be a disciplined system and there needs to be a process they go through, but I do think there are too many of these cases where it does seem inhumanly inflexible.”

Boles added that nothing could be done in the run up to the election but that:

“The beginning of a parliamentary term, when people are looking at things afresh, is the best time to make a change.”

However, Boles backtracked very rapidly yesterday after his comments were reported in the national press.

He told the Guardian that:

“Benefit sanctions are an essential part of our reforms to end the something-for-nothing culture and they have helped record numbers of people back into work since 2010. I am a strong supporter of them in both principle and practice – those who can work should work.

“Of course, we need to make sure that the decision to impose sanctions is properly applied and employment advisers work hard to make sure special circumstances are taken into account.”

Comments  

+4 #4 Kasbah 2015-03-09 13:00
He got the Whip. I'd like to take a whip to these idle rich Tories (something for nothing culture? Talk about projection!) except they might enjoy it too much.

We are living in a backward country where elections are decided by a right-wing hate-peddling press and media.
+7 #3 satmanbasil 2015-03-04 23:01
mmmm seems strange how tories follow the leader and never speak out of line for long, towing the party line almost like lemmings... one can only hope if one tory jumps over the white cliffs of dover the rest will follow lmao
+7 #2 Drizzle 2015-03-04 13:06
At least his laughably short-lived complaint has got some publicity for the inhuman sanction regime (I even saw it reported on the BBC website who are running scared of the Tories), something that the recent scathing and heartbreaking church report has failed to do.

Anyone with any sense will realise that he was quickly brought back into line with all kinds of threats from his fellow Tories.
+4 #1 Chris 2015-03-04 12:58
An old newspaper headline in the Daily Mirror showed what could happen this year. Labour surge but Tories still in command.

This is what a hung parliament could look like this year.

Labour could be fundamentally changed if the small socialist parties won MPs in the nearly 200 marginals, where Benefit and Work showed an example of how many poor voters hold the balance of power against slim majorities of sitting MPs.

Not all such voting areas have a socialist alternative, which is a crying shame for the starving.

Birmingham Yardley has such a huge claimant count against the slim majority of sitting MP, that if the media gave coverage to the small parties, parliament would be fundamentally changed.

There is no such coverage by left leaning national newspapers like
The Daily Mirror, The Guardian, The New Statesman and
The Independent. Even the London Evening Standard that talks of starvation being caused by welfare reform.

Neither in print or online.

I have gathered together the logos on ballet sheets of these new parties on my personal little website, and hope people will share my website on their social media Facebook and Twitter, so that the poor actually make a difference in a multi party coalition with Labour to shut Tories out of power come May.

And it is far better for electioneering to be done in a pop up charity shop cum Free Cafe in one of the many vacant shops on the high street, which is where the poor of all ages are to be found.

www.anastasia-england.me.uk

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