YEP Letters: November 3

Elizabeth Tower, which houses Big Ben, at the House of Commons in Westminster, London, which will be silenced for four years as major conservation work is carried out. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.  Photo credit should read: Victoria Jones/PA Wire
Elizabeth Tower, which houses Big Ben, at the House of Commons in Westminster, London, which will be silenced for four years as major conservation work is carried out. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Photo credit should read: Victoria Jones/PA Wire
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Have your say

Check out today’s YEP letters

Is there no MP who will put GB first?

Judy Goodwin, Altofts

We now know through the press that the firm McAlpine, given the government contract to upgrade Big Ben, will not be using British steel but instead have opted for steel from Germany, Brazil and the United Arab Emirates.

How it must warm the hearts of the steel workers in Port Talbot and elsewhere to know how our politicians are more than happy to give million pound contracts out without making provision that all goods must be procured from the UK. Still it is only a follow on from Cameron and Blair who sent contracts overseas for ship and train building while closing the same factories in this country.

Is there no MP who will demand we put our country first?

Universal Credit recipients hit by sanctions

A senior member of Leeds City Council has said the authority is “appalled” after learning the number of Leeds residents hit by sanctions so far during the Government’s Universal Credit (UC) roll-out. According to a White Paper Motion put forward ahead of a council meeting next week by Labour’s Coun Debra Coupar a quarter of single unemployed people in the city have faced sanctions in the first year of the controversial benefits system. We asked YEP readers for their views and here’s what some of them said on social media..

Brandon Sedgwick

Love how the Tories claim it gets people into work quicker...yeah sure, that’s because it’s such a shocking system that it’s easy to be sanctioned (I escaped narrowly two weeks ago for only doing 32 hour job search rather than the 35 hours) therefore are forced into jobs to survive.

Danielle Holmes

Claimants might have to search for work and pay their own rent or face sanctions...well these aren’t exactly hard to do are they? I have to get up at 6am five days a week and drop my daughter at breakfast club before I go to work!

My point is, we all have to do things to earn our money...why should it be any different for benefits claimants? If I didn’t go to work I would be sanctioned too!

Richard Freestone

It’s quick and easy for people in a job to criticise, and before I was made redundant in May I would have been with you.

However after going on Universal Credit, I sympathise with the unemployed.

I am now employed, but Universal Credit is seriously flawed, and most of the job centre staff can’t do a thing – basically forcing you to call the premium rate number.

Second to that, none of them actually provided help to get a job, just to make sure I was getting on with job search.

Mandie Maynard

Unfortunately a lot of the people who are affected by this ( I understand not all) are among some of the most vulnerable in our society.

Luke Brown

There are countless jobs available. The problem is, most people think they are above the jobs available or better than them when in reality you should take anything you can while searching for something else.

Hazel Dean

I work but on sick at the moment, haven’t been at my job long enough to get sick pay so have to get money from Universal Credit to put me by. I must say I feel sorry for people claiming it, had nothing but trouble. Not all people can work due to ill health or disabilities so they have to claim benefits to get them and their family by. Hate people who are quick to judge people on benefits without knowing their reason why.

Mark Skipworth

I would like to point out that the sanction system was first introduced by a Labour government. Many people will automatically blame the Conservatives.

The Conservatives may have adapted the system, but Labour most definitly started the system as a form of punishment. The 1997-2010 Labour governments made significant changes to the conditions that apply to those claiming Job Seekers Allowance and increased the sanctions applied where claimants failed to meet those conditions. For the first time, sanctions were extended to include lone parents with older children and disabled claimants who were judged likely to be able to enter the labour market in the future.

These measures were intended to promote more active job search, deter voluntary unemployment and encourage entry into the labour market by those who had not previously been required to show they were available for work.

Neil Watson

People on dole should be actively seeking work anyway. It’s always been like that. Too many people claiming the old dole and moaning about how much benefits they get.

Martin Greenwood

Whilst I’m against people expecting something for nothing there is a line and the Conservatives crossed it long before the Universal Credit roll out. Same old cons sticking the knife whist giggling with a glass of champers.

Joanne Croarkin

People should be looking at the corruption and tax avoidance which is much more than the benefits bill, but of course the people at the top would rather you hate on the poor so they can count their money in peace.

Mick Lucani

Turn up for the meetings as requested...it’s quite simple.Just like the rest of us have to turn up for work. Trouble is, benefits is seen as a lifestyle choice by too many these days. If you don’t go to work in your youth, then how do you expect to get a State Pension and benefits when you’re retired. It’s not a magic money tree.

Kimberley Starboard

It’s okay some people saying ‘just get a job’. What about people who are disabled 
and are having to go to food banks because they’re not ‘disabled enough’? Because they walked into the 121 appointment unaided that day. It’s ridiculous.

I was training to join the military when I became disabled and had to deal with the physical and emotional pain. I wanted to kill myself. So don’t tell strangers to ‘just get a job’

Natalie Booth

These sanctions need to be abolished! I work so not had the misfortune of been affected but the stories I hear are shocking!

YEP Letters: November 4

Kirkgate Market, Leeds

YEP Letters: November 2