Ken Loach On Question Time Accuses Tory Government Of ‘Conscious Cruelty’ Over Benefits Sanctions

Director Ken Loach has condemned the Government for overseeing a culture of “conscious cruelty” in the way it docks people’s benefits.

The Kes flim-maker hit out at the Government’s benefits regime and fit-to-work tests, which leaves people “living in fear”, when appearing on the BBC’s Question as he releases a film about about a man’s struggle with the welfare system.

‘I, Daniel Blake’, which was this year’s Cannes Palme d’Or winner, tells the fictional story of a carpenter who suffers a heart attack and is told by doctors he can no longer work. But he is ruled too healthy to receive benefits by Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)-commissioned assessment.

Blake is forced to hunt for jobs which he has to turn down as he is too sick. 

On the BBC show, Loach made clear he believes sanctions placed on benefits claimants – where the part or all of the payment is docked – are deliberately cruel.

With Government minister Greg Clark on the panel, he said: 

“People are living in fear, and it’s an absolutely intolerable way to live. There’s a conscious cruelty to the way the benefits system is being imposed. The Tory Government knows exactly what it is doing.” 

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