According to a Guardian report, the Lib Dems said the number of sanction referrals has increased from around 60,000 a month in the early part of the last decade to around 170,000 today – and went on to state that around 15 per cent of these sanctions were overturned on the grounds that the decision was flawed.
That means 144,500 jobseekers would be off-benefit at the moment. If the figures show a drop of only 132,000, then unemployment has in fact risen by 12,500 people!
People claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance who have their benefits sanctioned by DWP staff are not included in unemployment counts. Nor are those who have been sucked into mandatory work activity schemes, for that matter…
The Liberal Democrats, you see, want to introduce a “yellow card” system – well they would; yellow is their colour – to give rule-breaking jobseekers a final warning before sanctions are imposed, and DWP bosses a chance to check the facts and avoid mistakes.
On the face of it, this might seem like a good idea – and it would be very interesting to monitor such a scheme, if implemented.
If the claimant count were to rise, we would have proof that the Conservatives have been using sanctions to manipulate the figures.
Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike
Join the Vox Political Facebook page.
Buy Vox Political books and help us
debunk more government statistics!
Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:
Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
You can make a one-off donation here: