Sanctions against benefits claimants climb
- 07 Nov
Last year the number of claims subject to sanctions was 500,000, this year it is 860,000.
The number of benefit claims subject to sanction is at the highest it has ever been since statistics began to be published, the Department of Work and Pensions figures show.
The figures have been delayed for months and show that since the new benefit regime was introduced last October. Many unemployed people have had their benefit payments suspended due to either a failure to look for work, turning down a job offer or missing jobcentre appointments. The figures also suggest that the regime will mean almost 450,000 more unemployed people are being subject to sanctions or abandoning their claim.
The work minister, Ester McVey, claims that people getting their benefits docked for missing jobcentre appointments were deliberately avoiding finding a job. She says that: "Sanctions are used as a deterrent. The vast, vast majority of people don't get sanctions. When you get jobseeker's allowance - there's a clue there in the name, jobseeker's allowance - you are paid that to make sure you are doing all you can do to get a job. The people who get sanctions are wilfully rejecting support for no good reason and if there were a reason ... there is something known as 'good cause', so if that seemed true and genuine you'd have good cause there to not have a sanction, plus there is a process in place just to ensure we are getting it right."
These statistics show that for the first time the impact of a harsher benefit regime alongside a DWP drive to refer more claimants for sanctions, reports the Guardian.
Under the new regime, first infringement sanctions, such as failing to attend a job adviser interview, have risen to a fixed mandatory four weeks' loss of Job Seekers Allowance. A second sanction for the same offense leads to a benefit loss for 13 weeks and a third offence leads to three years benefit loss. Jobcentre managers have also been accused of urging staff to sanction more claimants.
Since the new sanctions regime was introduced the number of sanction referrals has risen by 20% and the number of applied sanctions has risen by 13%.
Dr David Webster, senior research fellow at Glasgow University said: "There has been a massive rise in the number of reserved or cancelled decisions, especially in the latter. Decisions are cancelled when the claimant is no longer claiming JSA at the time of the referral. Decisions are reserved when the claimant has stopped claiming between the time of referral and the time of decision. Reserved and cancelled decisions were at 72,000 per year in 2006, but were 532,000 in the year to June 2013. It appears that people are being driven off JSA by the sanctions regime."
What do you think of this? Tweet us your comments @suppsolutions
Image source: http://www.morguefile.com/archive/display/200384
- 28 Aug
Figures find thousands of benefit claimants died after found fit for work
Over 80 people a month have died shortly after being declared “fit to work” prompting campaigners to call for an overhaul of the government’s welfare system, reports the Guardian.Figures from...
- 24 Aug
Disability campaigners concerned over benefit shakeups
The Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith is set to announce new reforms to sickness benefits in the hope to get more people into work, reports the Guardian.It is expected the Mr Duncan Smith...
- 07 Aug
Single parents are being hit by benefit cuts
Government statistics detailing who has been affected by the policy have found that in May 2015 49% were single parents with children under the age of five, reports the Guardian.It is being said that...
- 30 Jul
Government to review helping benefit claimants back into work
Led by Professor Dame Carol Black, the inquiry will consider the case for linking people who are entitled to benefits with accepting appropriate treatment or support, reports 24dash.The review's...
- 23 Jul
Call for review of benefits delivery
The inquiry will look at the problems that could occur when benefits are underpaid or delayed, reports 24dash. The Committee invites written evidence on: Frank Field MP, chair of the committee,...
- 15 May
11,400 tenants could be affected by new benefits cut
Inside Housing have analysed data from the government's Stat-Xplore website and has found that 11,449 social housing tenants are set to be affected by the governments plans to remove housing benefit...
- 24 Mar
Deaths due to benefit sanctions should have independent investigations
A report into benefit sanctions by the Work and Pensions Committee has said that suicides linked to sanctions should be scrutinised in a similar manner to deaths in police custody, reports Inside...
- 11 Mar
Charity finds benefit sanctions regime to be flawed
A report conducted for Crisis by the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University found that benefit claimants were subject to a ‘postcode lottery' on whether or...
- 30 Oct
Cuts to employment and support allowance benefits
With these cuts it could see new claimants being given just 50p more per week than people who are on job seekers allowance, reports the BBC. The Department for Work and Pensions have said the ESA...
- 10 Oct
Proposed benefit rule labelled ‘worse than poor law'
The Social Security Advisory Committee is currently cons ulting on the proposals which George Osborne first announced in June 2013, reports Inside Housing.The seven day wait would occur on top of the...
How to Fund Housing Support and Social Care Sevices Extremely informative, excellent speaker. Alison Halstead - Riverside ECHG