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TOPIC: Operation and effects of benefit sanctions

Operation and effects of benefit sanctions 16 May 2018 15:11 #7569

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The Work and Pensions Committee holds the first evidence session in its new inquiry into the operation and effects of benefit sanctions.
• Watch Parliament TV: Benefit sanctions
• Inquiry: Benefit sanctions
• Work and Pensions Committee


Witnesses
16 May 2018, Wilson Room, Portcullis House
At 9.30am
• Tony Wilson, Director of Policy and Research, Leaning and Work Institute
• Dr David Webster, University of Glasgow
• Matthew Oakley, Independent reviewer of JSA sanctions
At 10.15am
• Luke O’Donnell, claimant
• Jen Fidai, claimant
• Samantha, claimant

Purpose of the session
The Committee is looking at recent developments like the trial of a “Yellow Card” system, and the robustness of evidence that sanctions work - either to deter non-compliant behaviour or to help achieve the policy objectives of getting people off benefits and into work.

Sanctions, which take the form of docking a portion of benefit payments for a period of time, can be imposed for breaching benefit conditions like not attending a work placement, or for being minutes late for a Job Centre appointment.

This might be a condition set out in primary legislation (such as for JSA) or a condition agreed between the claimant and their Work Coach about their responsibilities.

Media reports of the Committee's last inquiry into benefit sanctions in 2015 described "copious evidence of claimants being docked hundreds of pounds and pitched into financial crisis for often absurdly trivial breaches of benefit conditions, or for administrative errors beyond their control."

There have also been serial reports in the media of extreme instances of the use and effects of sanctions – people hospitalised for life threatening conditions or premature labour being sanctioned for weeks or months for consequently missing a benefits appointment, or being unable to afford the transport to a distant job placement and being sanctioned for failing to attend it - and speculation over the degree of discretion Job Centre Plus staff have in these instances.

Tomorrow the Committee will hear from claimants who have been sanctioned, about the impact and effect the sanctions have, and what effect it has on their relationship with Job Centre - including one Universal Credit claimant whose annotated sanction letter went viral on Twitter, after he missed an appointment because of receiving treatment for his epilepsy.

The Committee will also hear from Matthew Oakley, the Government’s independent reviewer of the impact and effects of sanctions for breaching Jobseeker’s Allowance conditions, about how far the Government has gone towards implementing his 2014 recommendations.

PS: Follow televised proceedings at:
www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/e7b5a559-dc35-4627-94b6-036b998b8a72
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Operation and effects of benefit sanctions 16 May 2018 17:33 #7579

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Quote from the above:
Tomorrow the Committee will hear from claimants who have been sanctioned, about the impact and effect the sanctions have, and what effect it has on their relationship with Job Centre - including one Universal Credit claimant whose annotated sanction letter went viral on Twitter, after he missed an appointment because of receiving treatment for his epilepsy.

Just hope this doesn't fall on deaf ears yet again. Yellow card system or not, they are running a penal system for people who have done nothing wrong except not have a job.
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Operation and effects of benefit sanctions 17 May 2018 08:58 #7620

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They will have these "Committees" from time to time, Just to keep the milling hoards down. :(
But nothing will change,
The Tory Policies is 100% Employment, Minimum Wages & Zero Hour Contracts.
And Totally Deconstruct the Benefits system to Nothing.
"Battery chickens" comes to mind. :angry:
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Operation and effects of benefit sanctions 10 Oct 2018 23:21 #10496

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'There is “no evidence” that benefit sanctions encourage claimants to get into work or increase their earnings, according to a government report published last month.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has been accused of “sneaking out” the findings, which cast doubt on the effectiveness of a key element of its flagship universal credit system.

The report, published with no ministerial announcement on 12 September, shows docking benefits as a punishment for alleged failures to comply with Jobcentre Plus rules does not encourage claimants to apply for additional work, and in some cases “damages the relationship between the work coach and the claimant”.'

www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/benefit-sanctions-universal-credit-dwp-report-study-no-evidence-a8577061.html

The condensed version!

www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/picture/2018/oct/10/steve-bell-on-universal-credit-rollout-cartoon
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Operation and effects of benefit sanctions 11 Oct 2018 10:02 #10503

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I read about this online yesterday and it`s clear that when something is implemented and doesn`t turn out to have been a positive move, they hide it. Until sanctions are removed from our welfare system, it will remain a volatile and out of date system. It fuels negativity and fear. Something a welfare system was never set up to be.
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