David Webster's latest document on sanctions

David Webster has sent me his latest briefing on sanctions.  David’s key points are:

  •  Total numbers of JSA sanctions have started to fall back, reflecting the decline in claimant unemployment.  They have stabilised at the unprecedentedly high levels of about 7% of claimants per month before reconsiderations and appeals, and 6% after.
  • ESA sanctions have risen to all-time highs, reaching an estimated 1.16% of claimants per month before
    reconsiderations and appeals, and 0.97% after.  The big surge in ESA sanctions has been entirely due to ‘failure to participate in work related activity’.
  • Since October 2012, 833,628 individuals have received an average of 1.73 sanctions each.
  • The DWP has still published no figures on Mandatory Reconsiderations, introduced on 28 October 2013. Mandatory Reconsideration appears to have caused an almost total collapse in appeals to Tribunals.  There were only 23 Tribunal decisions on JSA and ESA sanctions in the three months April to June, compared to a normal monthly rate of over 1,000.
  • The Work Programme continues to deliver more sanctions than job outcomes.

I’m doing some related work to help the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations consider the issues around sanctions, but more of that in due course.

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