DWP OPERATING SANCTIONS SYSTEM BLIND
Commenting on today’s National Audit Office (NAO) report on sanctions against benefit claimants, Child Poverty Action Group Chief Executive Alison Garnham said:
“As today’s NAO report makes clear, the DWP has little idea what impact sanctions have on individuals and, with some areas imposing twice as many sanctions as others, appears to have little concern for consistency. Sanctions create destitution but the DWP is operating almost blind. It has the tools to establish what happens to sanctioned claimants - and their chances of getting work - but seems to choose not to mobilise these.
“What’s more, the imposition of sanctions appears to be driven less by what claimants do than by management culture at any one time. For the DWP to be closing its eyes and hoping for the best in its use of sanctions – which, let’s be clear, cause very real suffering - is not good enough. The case for a full-scale DWP review of sanctions is now irrefutable.”
CPAG’s joint research with Oxfam, the Church of England, and Trussell Trust, on emergency food aid found 19-28% of food bank clients had recently been sanctioned. (1)
Note to editors:
(2) CPAG was one of a small number of organisations and individuals which contributed to the development of the NAO’s report
(3) The Work & Pensions Select Committee has also called for the DWP to commission a review of sanctions http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmselect/cmworpen/814/...
CPAG press contact: Jane Ahrends on 0207 812 5216 or 07816 909302