Iain Duncan Smith and the Department of Work and Pension have once again highlighted their Scrooge credentials after sanctioning a man’s benefits, mere days before Christmas, for simply offering to work on Christmas Day.

Mr Nicholas, who was diagnosed with severe narcolepsy, is registered as being unable to work for the majority of the year. He offered to work for a short period between the 24th and 25th of December free of charge, helping deliver the last of the Christmas Day goods, however this act of generosity flagged on DWP systems, and now he faces a sanctioned Christmas.

“I was just trying to do a good deed or two”, said Mr Nicholas, known as Nick to his friends, “It’s hard not to feel guilty because, sometimes I feel I’m literally sleeping throughout the year, so when I get the opportunity to help, I try to work as hard as can and cover as much distance as I can, during the night”.

man wiht head in hands
Mr Nicholas wished to retain his anonymity

Iain Duncan Smith has caused outrage with his draconian reforms to the benefit system, less than four days ago Alison Thewliss M.P for Glasgow Central, spoke incredulously of an incident where a man had his benefits sanctioned, while actually waiting to start a new job…In the Department of Work and Pension.

Even if Mr Nicholas decides to appeal the decision, as a result of the Christmas bank holiday, his appeal will not be heard in time, meaning he not only faces being unable to collect his necessary benefits, but will also struggle to feed his beloved pets.

We spoke to one of Mr Nicholas’ longest known friends Martin Elfing, about the horrible predicament Nick faces at Christmas “I can’t believe Nick’s been left this way, I couldn’t tell you how many people he’s helped over the years, every single time refusing to even take a penny for it. All he asks is for a little something for his pets, in my opinion he should be sainted not sanctioned.”

Christmas or no Christmas, sanctions hit the most vulnerable

GlasgowLiving referred to the Department of Work and Pension website and it said “JSA claimants must look for and be able to work in line with the pattern of availability agreed with their advisor. Should claimants fail to take the steps agreed with their advisor their benefit may be subject to a sanction.

Thankfully Nick’s friend Martin Elfing said that the local community will come together and support Mr Nicholas, with or without the help of the Department of Work and Pension.