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The bureaucratic chaos of the benefits system isn’t a fault—it’s working exactly as intended

The system's chaotic flaws are inbuilt, both to make it intensely difficult to claim, and incredibly difficult to continue to claim once you’re in receipt of benefits

By Dawn Foster  

A woman looks in the window of a JobCentre. Photo: PA

A few days before the general election earlier this year, I sat in a south London food bank, as people collecting food parcels told me what had brought them there. Over cups of tea, the strangers told me how getting by was a full-time job, and the slightest bureaucratic blip or whim of Jobcentre staff thrust them into destitution. Some had kids and partners, some were single; some disabled or unemployed; some in work; some were in tears,…

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