The government has refused recommendations to rein in benefit sanctions in its response to a Universal Credit report.
The Work and Pensions Committee released a damning study in November last year that slammed the department’s sanctions – imposed for missed Job Centre appointments or failing to show efforts to work – as “pointlessly cruel”.
But the government’s response, published today, has remained unmoved on recommendations calling for sanctions to be cut back with up to 100 per cent of Jobseekers’ Allowance or Universal Credit standard allowance able to stripped from claimants.
“Our report laid bare the inhumanity of the #sanctions regime Government has pursued for years without ever stopping to check whether it #works or what it is doing to the people it is meant to 'support'" @frankfieldteam on @DWP response we've pub'd today https://t.co/eD48LYOhLt
— Work & Pensions Committee (@CommonsWorkPen) February 11, 2019
DWP ministers have agreed to evaluate the practice – dubbed “the only major welfare reform this decade to never have been evaluated” by the committee – when it comes to employment.
However, calls to research the impact sanctions have on well-being have fallen on death ears, despite the committee’s original report finding that sanctions on the most vulnerable do not drive employment and are instead “harmful and counterproductive”.