The targeting, severity and impact of sanctions on benefit claimants needs urgent review

Politics and Insights

Posted originally by Michael Meacher, MP here
April 3rd, 2014
This is the edited text of a speech I made today in the House of Commons, in a debate I initiated on the many cases of sanctions being wrongfully applied to benefit recipients, calling on the Government to review the targeting, severity and impact of such sanctions.
The process of sanctioning benefit recipients is now being used on an enormous scale—almost 1 million sanctions a year. Even the right-wing Policy Exchange think-tank acknowledged in a report published last month that about 68,000 benefit claimants each year are having their welfare payments stopped unfairly. Given that the penalty for the first infringement is the loss of benefit for four weeks, for the second the loss of benefits for three months and for the third the loss of benefits for three years, the number of people being driven into destitution by administrative diktat…

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