Peter Dwyer and Janis Bright consider this week’s report
This week the National Audit Office published its report on benefit sanctions. The NAO found that an increasingly harsh sanctions regime, extended in scope and severity, has been running for quite some time with only limited evidence on the outcomes and effectiveness of benefit sanctions leading to increased participation in paid work.
The NAO points out that government has a duty to evaluate its own rules, and to ‘balance their effectiveness in encouraging employment against the impacts on claimants and any wider costs for public spending’. Read More
Our latest guest writer Michael Adler from the University of Edinburgh explores ways to ameliorate the hardship caused by sanctions. He charts the rise and recent fall in numbers of benefit sanctions issued, and says that although this fall is obviously to be welcomed, sanctions are still problematic. He argues that despite making some changes to the system, the government last year rejected all recommendations that would have thrown further light on the problems of the system. Read the blog here
Our latest guest writer Michael Adler from the University of Edinburgh explores ways to ameliorate the effects of sanctions
In an article entitled ‘A new Leviathan: benefit sanctions in the twenty first century’, which appears in the current issue of the Journal of Law and Society, I draw attention to the spectacular growth of benefit sanctions in the UK that took place between 1998 and 2013. I noted that, in 2012 and 2013, the number of Jobseekers’ Allowance (JSA) and Employment Support Allowance (ESA) sanctions imposed by the DWP, which was more than one million, actually exceeded the number of fines imposed in the criminal courts. Read More
Followers of our blog will likely have seen the comment and analysis of Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) statistics from Dr David Webster in previous posts (The Great Sanctions Debate: Evidence and Perspectives). On 13th August, the DWP released the latest statistics relating to sanctions on Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA) and Employment Support Allowance (ESA) Sanctions.
Dr Webster has kindly allowed us to publish his briefing paper, which summarises the information provided in these statistics, as well as commenting on other recent developments in relation to sanctions. Among the headlines are the increase in the number of JSA/ESA sanctions being applied in recent years. The document also contains links to the original DWP data.
Webster, D. (2014) The DWP’s JSA/ESA Sanctions Statistics Release, 13 August 2014