"A Department for Work and Pensions whistleblower has told how mean-spirited bosses have demanded staff focus solely on handing out benefit sanctions over Christmas rather than sorting out appeals."
"Hundreds of staff at the Northgate DWP centre in Glasgow have allegedly been asked to only give out sanctions until January 9th and not to process mandatory reconsiderations - where a claimant has asked for a decision, such as a sanction, to be looked at again - until next year."
"Anne McLaughlin MP, whose constituency of Glasgow North includes the centre, has asked Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green to explain the reasoning behind the cruel guidance and called for all benefit sanctions to be halted at Christmas time."
"Anne McLaughlin MP said: `I have never heard anything so mean-spirited in my life and I am absolutely gobsmacked by the callousness of the directions being given to DWP staff just before Christmas`."
"Nobody should have to endure the misery of having their benefits stopped at Christmas let alone face an increase in the likelihood of a sanction."
"For someone struggling to make ends meet, Christmas is always going to be a difficult time with lots of added financial pressure such as presents, festive activities and food but if a person is sanctioned in December they will be left with absolutely nothing - unless they can face going to the local foodbank."
"For someone to have their benefits stripped from them is bad enough but at this time of year it is truly wicked - they won’t be able to take their kids to see the Christmas lights because they won't have the bus fare."
Scrooge is alive and well: