Man launches petition following sanctions to job seekers

4:00pm Tuesday 26th February 2013

A DESPERATE man told how his life has been left in tatters because of the new stringent santions on claiming jobs seekers’ allowance.

Nicky Cooke, 34, has been left homeless after his benefits were stopped and fears many others could be in the same hopeless position.

It comes after the Government changed the allowance system, last October, and put sanctions on people deemed not to be trying hard enough to find a job.

But Mr Cooke said they were getting too tough and he had provided proof that he had contacted scores of employers each week.

He said: “They were saying I’m not actively seeking work, there’s a ‘doubt’ on my claim form. “But I’m doing more than enough to look for work, every time I go there on a Tuesday to sign on I give them my job search list and I’m filling out both sides of the form.”

The Echo reported last week that the Storehouse charity, which provides food parcels to the needy in Southend, had been overwhelmed since the sanctions came into place. They are now having to feed more than 200 people a day - compared with just 60 a day three years ago. 

Mr Cooke said he would now be launching a petition outside the job centre to find out how many people are in the same boat and want the system changed. 

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