Sunday, August 25, 2013

2.25 Million sanctioned since Coalition came to office

Are they serious?

These figures are truly earth shattering.

DWP figures which you can access here show that since May 2010 an astonishing 2,257,000 claimants on Jobseeker’s Allowance have had their benefits referred for a decision on whether to cut their benefits for a fixed length period. The numbers of sanction referrals has rocketed from around 5,500 to 6,000 per month since 2000 right the way up to 2007, since then they have slowly increased but it is only since the Coalition took office that sanction referrals have sky rocketed to levels we have never seen before. A study conducted by the DWP in 2006 showed that around 130,000 claimants in total were subject to sanction referral in a year. These latest figures are seeing figures of over 110,000 in a single month.

From April 2000 to October 2012 there has been a total of 3,192,910 sanctions where a decision has been made over whether the claimant’s benefit should be stopped for a fixed period. The fact that two and a quarter million of those sanction referrals have been recorded should be cause for serious concern as to the vigour at which they are being applied.

The DWP’s statistical footnote explains that ‘prior to April 2010, a Failure to Attend Advisory Interview attracted an entitlement decision. Since then, it has attracted a fixed length sanction of between 1 and 2 weeks.’ It is this kind of sanction which accounts for 1,150,670 of all sanctions – by far the largest number, this category has only come in to play since the Coalition took office. 487,980 reported failures to participate in the Coalition’s Work Programme are recorded since July 2011. The fixed length sanction regime can last a longer than two weeks but the period of 1 to 2 weeks is what is recorded in the DWP’s notes.