SNP Claim DWP Sanctions Cover-Up

Thursday 23 February, 2017 Written by 
SNP Claim DWP Sanctions Cover-Up SNP MSP Sandra White

Unemployed people received twice as many benefit sanctions as the DWP are willing to admit, according to new research.

There were 300,000 sanctions imposed on unemployed people in the UK in the year to September 2016, double the number reported by the DWP, according to a University of Glasgow academic.

Dr David Webster found that JSA claimants are being sanctioned for longer on average and that the rate of ESA sanctions has risen sharply.

Dr Webster also criticised the DWP for failing to improve its reporting of sanctions, which continue to fail to meet the requirements of the UK Statistics Authority. Academic experts previously described the way that the DWP compiles its figures as a “gross and systematic misrepresentation” which suppress the full scale of how claimants are being penalised.

Commenting, SNP MSP Sandra White said:

“This is yet another blow to the credibility of the Tory sanctions regime, which causes a great deal of distress and hardship to people seeking work – and actually costs the taxpayer more to administer than it saves.

“The Tory axemen can try and massage the figures all they want, but we now know that sanction numbers are twice as high as they’ll admit. They can’t keep turning a blind eye to the evidence.

“It’s time to ditch this flawed sanctions regime and to put dignity and fairness at the heart of our Social Security system.”

Dr David Webster

Image: Dr David Webster, Glasgow University

School of Social and Political Sciences


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