I HEARD recently of a young unemployed man who arrived at the Job Centre ten minutes late for an appointment and was told by the clerk she was suspending his benefit for a month as “punishment.”

No amount of apologising and explaining would change the official’s mind; she was stopping his payment and that was that.

I was both disgusted and dismayed to think our country has become so uncaring that a person in need can be so carelessly thrown into abject poverty, and for such a trivial reason.

I understand this case is far from unique; the Government covertly encourages its public sector minions to treat the unemployed like dirt, so making the claiming of benefit more of a trial than it already was.

No wonder so many thousands of people up and down the land are having to rely on food banks.

That a modern, wealthy nation like ours even HAS food banks should be an eternal source of burning shame for those responsible.

But I very much doubt that it is.

AJ by email.