Watchdog asks DWP for ‘objective and impartial’ sanctions statements

The UK statistics watchdog has asked the Department for Work and Pensions to ensure its statements on jobseeker sanctions are “objective and impartial” following a series of complaints by leading experts.

In an indictment of current DWP methods, the UK Statistics Authority’s (UKSA) chief, Sir Andrew Dilnot, has said he will write to the top statistician in the department requesting that it publishes much more data and gives the public a clearer understanding of how it is imposing sanctions on jobseekers.

Sanctions are used by civil servants to penalise jobseekers when they are alleged to have broken benefit rules. Over the last decade those punishments have become increasingly severe. As of October 2012, jobseekers can be stripped of their allowance for up to three years.

Guardian research earlier this week showed that the government had significantly understated the impact of its benefit sanctions regime.

In the last few years, the proportion of jobseekers given sanctions each month has hovered between 4% and 6%. Using those monthly sanction rates – the only officially published rates available – ministers have claimed that only a small minority of jobseekers have been affected by the government’s increasingly severe welfare policies.

Using the proportion of all those penalised over the course of 12 months shows that each year, one in six (17%) of all jobseekers have their payments stopped.

The difference between the two proportions occurs because jobseekers are often unemployed for longer than one month and so the annual rate captures the cumulative effect of the government’s policy.

Source: Watchdog asks DWP for ‘objective and impartial’ sanctions statements | Society | The Guardian

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9 Thoughts to “Watchdog asks DWP for ‘objective and impartial’ sanctions statements”

  1. Tony Dean

    Direct Link to the letter:-

    http://www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/reports—correspondence/correspondence/letter-from-ed-humpherson-to-jonathan-portes-060715.pdf

    SYSTEMATIC UNDERSTATEMENT OF THE NUMBER OF SANCTIONS AND OF THE NUMBER OF CLAIMANTS AFFECTED

  2. Ian

    Objective and impartial from IBS? The man who said people on workfare should be grateful these business ‘allowed’ them to work for them?

    Good luck with that.

  3. As I’ve said before Mike, I wouldn’t trust any figures from the the Gentleman Ranker RTU’s department – he’s a proven serial liar and it’s not the first time he’s been officially pulled up for fiddling the figures reported to the House, no less!

    How can he be allowed to repeatedly sully the reputation of our House of Commons? Are there no rules to prevent this? Or are we just supposed to take all official figures with a ‘pinch of salt’ (don’t we anyway?)?

    Just what dirt does he have on his peers that prevents them from stopping his continual lying?

    Will you believe any of the figures that we’ve been waiting years for when/if he finally does publish the number of deaths of claimants denied benefits “before the end of autumn” (December), Mike?

    Why should anyone believe anything he says? What can we do about it?

    You’d have thought one of his employees at the DWP would have done a ‘Snowden’ by now with those figures, but it seems they’re as spineless and conscience-free as their twisted boss.

    1. Mike Sivier

      The figures the DWP intends to publish “before the end of autumn” will be ratios, rather than actual numbers, and will be almost meaningless.
      I’ll believe the actual numbers that I intend to extract from the DWP after the information tribunal hearing later this year (it looks as though it will be November, unfortunately).

  4. As I’ve said before Mike, I wouldn’t trust any figures from the the Gentleman Ranker RTU’s department – he’s a proven serial liar and it’s not the first time he’s been officially pulled up for fiddling the figures reported to the House, no less!

    How can he be allowed to repeatedly sully the reputation of our House of Commons? Are there no rules to prevent this? Or are we just supposed to take all official figures with a ‘pinch of salt’ (don’t we anyway?)?

    Just what dirt does he have on his peers that prevents them from stopping his continual lying?

    Will you believe any of the figures that we’ve been waiting years for when/if he finally does publish the number of deaths of claimants denied benefits “before the end of autumn” (December), Mike?

    Why should anyone believe anything he says? What can we do about it?

    [You’d have thought one of his disgruntled employees at the DWP (they can’t all be gruntled, can they?) would have done a ‘Snowden’ by now, with those figures, but it seems they’re all as spineless and conscience-free as their psychopathic boss.]

    1. Mike Sivier

      I’ll believe the figures I get from the DWP after my FoI request finishes its work.

  5. NMac

    There will be nothing from Duncan-Smith that’s objective, impartial or even honest. The man is rotten to the core.

  6. IDS has lied right from the start off, so he’s hardly going to curb his behaviour now. As always, they listen to no reasonable calls for clarity at the DWP, rather we have to accept – for example – that IDS doesn’t ‘believe’ that there are sanction targets or that many thousands have died due to his policies. As long as he ‘believes’ facts aren’t true, it seems that’s perfectly acceptable to most of the msm and the electorate.

  7. IDS will continue to beat you down with his big stick even more, the truth about how all of these cuts are really affecting people will never come out, years after his arse is thrown out of office, it should be now, so he can’t be done for all the damage he has done and the lives he has taken, will this Watchdog thing really have any teeth, I doubt it, not as long as the tories are still pulling the strings!

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