Government Created A Hostile Environment For Benefits Claimants: James O'Brien

22 May 2018, 12:39 | Updated: 22 May 2018, 12:51

The government didn't just create a hostile environment for immigrants. Thanks to sanctions, they created one for benefits claimants too, says James O'Brien.

A study from the University of York stated that benefits sanctions are ineffective at getting jobless people into work and are more likely to reduce those affected to poverty, ill-health or even survival crime.

James admitted to being baffled as to why the government felt it was the correct thing to do to essentially fine the poorest members of society, simply for missing an appointment.

But then he realised it is the same government that created a hostile environment for other groups.

James O'Brien in the LBC studio
James O'Brien in the LBC studio. Picture: LBC

Speaking on his LBC show, he said: "This is what happens. A claimant supposedly breaches Job Centre rules, typically by failing to turn up for appointments or by not applying for enough jobs. As a result of that, they are effectively fined by having their benefit payments stopped for a minimum of four weeks and a maximum of three years.

"Now as I read you these words, I find myself wondering whether it really was the case that some of society's poorest people would be punished for missing an appointment by having the pittance that they currently survive on withdrawn.

"And then I remember the climate that these policies were introduced in."