U.K. Department for Work and Pensions caught using stock photos, fabricated quotes

A statement from the department said they were for ‘illustrative purposes,’ and were based on real interviews. They have been removed from a brochure.

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The Department for Work and Pensions in the United Kingdom wanted to drum up support for its sanctions regime, so it went old school and created a pamphlet. The sanctions were widely unpopular, so it was a surprise for some to find anecdotal support for the sanctions in the pamphlet.

It turns out that the stories—and the accompanying photos—were fictitious. That’s a fact that did not make it into the pamphlet.

From the BBC:

Under the sanctions system—introduced by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith—people can lose benefits for anywhere between a few weeks and three years if they fail to meet the government’s requirements for jobseekers.

Stephen Timms, Labour’s acting shadow work and pensions secretary, said: “You couldn’t make it up – but it seems Iain Duncan Smith can. The only way he can find backers for his sanctions regime is by inventing them.”

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