What do real claimants have to say about their experiences of this system, and are they as grateful as Sarah and Zac? Evidence from case studies collected by our evaluations of two programmes suggests they are not. Sanctions rules are understood, but do not appear to be helping claimants to find work.
Almost a quarter of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance today have a mental health condition. For many, poor mental health will be the cause of their joblessness, for others it will be the effect. But regardless of which, these people need better support and we're going to do something about it. That's why we're investing £40m to introduce a range of pilots to find out how best we can support people with mental health conditions in looking for work. I want to bust some of the myths around this. I have heard it claimed that people will be forced into participating in these schemes. This is completely untrue.
There is no evidence that the work ethics of people with long-term sickness are any worse than the average person, and in some respects they are better. Studies frequently find that the long-term sick want to work - which is not the same as being able to work, but does show that fecklessness is unlikely to be the problem here.
With near record employment in this country, and long term unemployment at its lowest level since 2009, there are more opportunities than ever for people to make the move from benefits to work, and that is why we must continue to press ahead with our reforms. We're building a welfare state that is finally fit for purpose. A system that supports people when they need it, but doesn't trap them into a life on benefits. A system that rewards work, instead of dependency. This is what this one nation Government is delivering.
As we approach the landmark of the first 100 days of his government, we at HuffPost UK have asked Britons to assess the state of the nation under the Conservatives. '100 Days of Dave' is a special blogs project looking at what's worked, what hasn't, and what more we can expect over the next five years of this Parliament. From grassroots campaigners to Government ministers, from critics to supporters, we aim to show a breadth of opinion as we take the national temperature on a range of policies including child poverty, mental health, the environment, housing and LGBT rights.
Following last week's budget announcement of £12billion in benefit cuts, how many people will die as a result? Dramatic as it may sound, there is already solid evidence that deaths directly correlate to the harsh family benefits caps like those the government plans to introduce. But that evidence is being hushed up.
So in the interest of setting the record straight, I've picked out my top seven tall Tory tales (there are many more than seven, but as space is limited I've kept myself to the worst offenders) and put them together with the actual facts. Without a willing handmaiden in the Murdoch press empire to help me, I'm relying on you to spread the word...
From me, thanks. You represent me. I didn't vote for you and I never will, which seems churlish when you clearly have my best interests at heart. But this nagging voice inside me keeps saying that maybe democracy shouldn't just be for the white, middle class families. Maybe, just maybe, it should be for everyone.
The cuts have already come. That "slow pace of welfare cuts" announced in the budget? Not true. Especially for child tax credits. Child tax credi...
In an age of social media, where stories can go viral in much shorter spaces of time than before, one would think that it would become ever more important from an ethical point of view for stories to be contextualised and reported accurately.
The continuing misuse of benefit is a human rights abuse where recipients are walled off from democracy and opportunity. But ministers, please reflect on where this culture arose; in the corridors of power itself. And the cure is to be found in work that finally gives this blighted sector of society the chance to catch up on lost time spent in the miasma of benefit.
We are used to Iain Duncan Smith misleading us in all sorts of ways. Last month a leaked document from his Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) sho...
Most young people go to university, have interest free loans, or stay living with their parents well in to their twenties. I'll wager this is the case for 99% of the people sitting braying in the chamber at Westminster.
As part of the interesting 'maths' in their manifesto, the Tories have committed to £12 billion more cuts in benefit payments over the next parliament. In interview after interview MPs and ministers have consistently refused to say where these cuts will come from, including multiple times to the BBC's Andrew Neil on The Daily Politics ever since the promise was made.
The anger created by the rise of food banks can force those in power to tackle this issue. And the ensuing hope can finally put an end to the march of the 'blame the poor' brigade.
The rise of food banks in 21st Century Britain is nothing short of a disgrace. Today's figures from the Trussell Trust confirm that in David Cameron's Britain more than a million people have to rely on food banks each year. This is the Tory plan that David Cameron says is working.