In response to my post of Friday night regarding the resignation of Iain Duncan Smith, a colleague wrote to me applying the existing sanctions regime had Mr Duncan Smith been subject to the measures imposed by his former Department.
“Will he need advice that because he has left a job regardless that he felt he could no longer do it, or hated it, that he will have benefit claim sanctioned straight away?
“He will also need to be computer literate and have access to computer as JSA claims are all on line, or if in an area of Universal Credit, will have to wait seven days before being able to make the claim and then wait over a month for any payment?
“Good luck finding a specialist benefit advisor to help navigate and challenge. I doubt anyone will be offering pro bono advice in this case”.
What my colleague failed to mention was that, in other circumstances, by voluntarily leaving his post he would have to wait up to six months to be eligible for certain benefits. Fortunately, there is an exemption in the case of Secretaries of State for Works and Pension. He is entitled to a severance payment of around £20,000.
Politicians of five different parties signed an Early Day Motion in 2014 calling for an end to this practice.