Ministers are to test a new approach to dealing with claimants who breach strict benefit conditions for the first time, in the latest sign that the government is finally listening to calls to soften its much-criticised sanctions regime.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has agreed to trial handing out warnings instead of benefit sanctions when a claimant breaches the conditions imposed on them for the first time.

It is one of five recommendations made in February’s report by the public accounts committee (PAC) on benefits sanctions, all of which have been accepted by ministers, according to a document sent by the Treasury to the committee earlier this month.

It is the latest sign that years of campaigning by disabled activists and anti-austerity protesters aimed at raising awareness of the harshness of the sanctions regime might finally be paying off.

Source: DWP agrees to test new approach in latest sign of softer approach to sanctions


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