Demonstration outside Sheffield job centre today

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A demonstration against benefit sanctions is to be held in Sheffield city centre today.

Protestors are set to gather outside the Jobcentre Plus office, Hartshead Square, from noon to object to sanctions placed on those who claim benefits.

The demonstration forms part of a National Day of Action, organised by the Unite union.

Martin Mayer, Secretary of Sheffield’s Trade Union Council, said: “We stand foursquare behind those who are bearing the full brunt of George Osborne’s austerity - those who are least

able to afford it.

“Social Security payments have been frozen or held below inflation for five years under this Government causing real hardship to those unable to find work or who are in work but cannot earn enough to support themselves in Britain’s low wage zero hours economy.

“In fact the majority of benefit claimants are in work - and 90 per cent of all new housing benefit claimants are working.

“Benefit sanctions coupled with the draconian way in which disability assessments have cut ill and disabled people off benefits unfairly have caused shocking hardship and poverty in Sheffield and

elsewhere.

“Suicides and mental health problems are just some of the terrible outcomes of this policy.

“In Food Bank Britain, decent people hang their heads in shame - no civilised society should treat the least well-off and most vulnerable in this way”

My Mayer claims benefit payments are stopped for arriving late for Job Centre meetings and not applying for jobs when waiting to start a new job.

He said over two million welfare claimants have had money taken from them over the last two years.