Our project gave evidence to the Commons Public Accounts Committee inquiry into Universal Credit, following the recent National Audit Office report.
Our evidence, drawn from our final research findings, said that benefit sanctions in Universal Credit are damaging and can be counterproductive. They are ineffective in enabling people to find paid employment, our researchers told the committee. For respondents in our study, ‘paid employment was more of a moving target than a destination’.
In addition, the researchers criticised the conditionality applied to people already in work, saying this was illogical and damaging – and in-work progression was absent.
The project is calling for urgent reform of benefit sanctions and reconsideration of the application of in-work conditionality.