Jessie Joe Jacobs

Tomorrow at 12.30pm I am going to be outside Middlesbrough job centre, speaking out about the benefit sanctions regime. It is part of a national day of campaigning called #no2sanctions. I thought I’d share with you why I am speaking out.

I used to run an organisation that worked with some of our communities most vulnerable people. We supported people to find a way out of poverty, sexual exploitation or addiction. I have always tried to be a voice for our service users. I first spoke out about benefits reform quite a few years ago. I was concerned because the new policy being developed looked like it was going to create a system that punishes those who can’t work, making life much harder for them. I questioned how this would help people into employment.

As the reforms developed, we saw correlating increases in poverty, depression, destitution and prostitution. We were…

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