From Daily Mirror: 4,600 disabled people were wrongly stripped of their benefits, the Tories admitted today in a fresh humiliation for their welfare regime.
From The Independent: Tory ministers have broken a promise to review the “pointlessly cruel” system for imposing sanctions on benefit claimants, a damning report by MPs warns.
From Daily Mirror: The Tories have been accused of slipping out a study admitting that there’s ‘no evidence’ benefit sanctions work.
I had my benefits sanctioned because I was having seizures so missed a JSA appointment. I ended up in hospital twice that week. I sent lots of evidence of this. They’ve just sent me a letter saying they’ve refused my appeal because this isn’t a good reason to miss an appointment.
— Luke (@odekul) March 20, 2018
From Politics and Insights: A study has found that people with disabilities receiving jobseekers’ allowance are 26-53 per cent more likely to be sanctioned than people who are not disabled. According to the research, the main reason is a “culture of disabelief” among jobcentre staff, who fail to take sufficient account of the impact of people’s disabilities.
This implies that welfare conditionality has an inbuilt discrimination, as it disproportionately affects people according to their characteristics.
Ahead of the release of a Demos report by Ben Baumberg Geiger on the Work Capability Assessment on Tuesday, the headline findings on benefits conditionality were featured in the Observer: More than a million benefit sanctions imposed on disabled people since 2010.
From The Guardian: Disabled people receiving state benefits have been hit with a million sanctions in less than a decade, according to alarming new evidence that they are being discriminated against by the welfare system.
A comprehensive analysis of the treatment of unemployed disabled claimants has revealed that they are up to 53% more likely to be docked money than claimant who are not disabled. This raises serious concerns about how they and their conditions are treated.
The findings, from a four-year study by academic Ben Baumberg Geiger in collaboration with the Demos thinktank, will cause worry that a government drive to help a million more disabled people into work over the next 10 years could lead to more unfair treatment.
Sanctions – the cutting or withholding of benefits – are applied as a punishment when claimants infringe the conditions of their payments by, say, as missing appointments or failing to apply for enough jobs.
From HuffPost UK: Benefits sanctions cost more to administer than they save, found a damning 2016 report of the Government’s welfare crackdown.
The National Audit Office (NAO), the independent watchdog of state spending, said that fining claimants for failing to meet certain conditions caused them greater hardship, and cost the Government almost twice what it gained.
The analysis found the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) spent £30-50 million a year applying sanctions, and around £200 million monitoring the terms it set for job seekers.
But in 2015, it said, the measures saved just £132 million.
Elsewhere in the hard-hitting report, the watchdog said the department had not endeavoured to track costs and benefits of the sanctions – either to the Government or to claimants themselves.