The Department for Work and Pensions have admitted making up fake stories to demonstrate the success of their benefit sanctions. They created fake claimants and wrote multiple stories talking about how benefits sanctions actually made their lives better.
In one, dubbed 'Sarah's story', she speak about how getting her benefits cut pushed her towards finishing her CV. In response to this discovering the DWP have said these stories were for 'illustrative purposes only' and not, you know, actual stories from people like they were being showcased as.
Twitter has, unsurprisingly, responded, showing the DWP that it too can make up fake stories. I've collected some of the best, maybe the DWP can use these in the future?
For some sanctions cured their blindness
Sanctions can even produce medical miracles
It's given Jeremy Corbyn the impetus to run for Labour leader
Having no money is a great stress reducer!
Sanctions gave Moi a chance to get rid of unwanted mouths
And she also used sanctions to return to a simpler time
And Moi's not the only one
Yeah! Who needs food anyway?
The sanctions can even help those poor souls who aren't even human
Sanctions have helped create the next Sir Alan Sugar
Who needs electricity when you have earwax?
Benefit Sanctions - the new fad diet
Getting in touch with nature is another great plus
Sanctions have even made some people astronauts
Sometimes you just need a little push
It appears the DWP have even done this sort of thing before
But don't worry, we all know when you have nothing to live on, you have nothing lose!
It was only earlier this year the Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee called for an inquiry to look at the way sanctions were applied. It was feared in some cases sanctions were causing "severe financial hardship" and even food poverty.
The DWP have said these stories have been removed but it's worrying they existed in the first place. With the number of people using food banks, and the gap between the rich and poor widening by the day, we really need to ask whether sanctioning people, for whatever reason, is okay, and ask whether sanctions have actually help anyone at all.