Welfare sanctions can’t possibly “incentivise” people to work | Politics and Insights

[Picture: Skwawkbox blog]

[Picture: Skwawkbox blog]

In recent years conditionality has become conflated with severe financial penalities (sanctions), and has mutated into an ever more stringent, complex, demanding set of often arbitrary requirements, involving frequent and rigid jobcentre appointments, meeting job application targets, providing evidence of job searches and mandatory participation in workfare schemes. The emphasis of welfare provision has shifted from providing support to people seeking employment to increasing conditionality of conduct, enforcing particular patterns of behaviour and monitoring compliance.Sanctions are “penalties that reduce or terminate welfare benefits in cases where claimants are deemed to be out of compliance with  requirements.” They are, in many respects, the neoliberal-paternalist tool of discipline par excellence – the threat that puts a big stick behind coercive welfare programme rules and “incentivises” citizen compliance with a heavily monitoring and supervisory administration. The Conservatives have broadened the scope of behaviours that are subject to sanction. This includes previously protected social groups, such as sick and disabled people and lone parents.

There is plenty of evidence that sanctions don’t help people to find work, and that the punitive application of severe financial penalities is having an extremely detrimental and sometimes catastrophic impact on people’s lives. We can see from a growing body of research how sanctions are not working in the way the government claim they intended.

Sanctions, under which people lose benefit payments for between four weeks and three years for “non-compliance”, have come under fire for being unfair, punitive, failing to increase job prospects, and causing hunger, debt and ill-health among jobseekers. And sometimes, death.

Read on: Welfare sanctions can’t possibly “incentivise” people to work | Politics and Insights

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4 thoughts on “Welfare sanctions can’t possibly “incentivise” people to work | Politics and Insights

  1. donnabusby15

    They do not even no what they are doing I was sent 3 letters to attend the jobcentre with 3 different advisors on 3 dates and when I phoned dwp they said there was no record of them and I did not have attend but at this point I had already panicked and been in touch with cab my local mp and sent them a mandatory reconsideration letter and an email for mandatory reconsideration I recieved one back saying they was sending me an esa 50 and I would fill it in send it back then I we recieve an atos appointment then they sent another letter to my old address luckily enough family members still live there so I recieved I of them and I have changed my address they sent all the other letters to my new address but this one at my old address said my appeal could not be accepted as I didn’t send a letter or email for mandatory reconsideration which I did send both and the letter at my new address said thank you for your email and letter for mandatory reconsideration and they sent them back to me they are pathetic

  2. joanna

    For me a sanction would have ended my life! I have No family, I have diabetes, which is not enough to go on ESA with, and it shouldn’t be. Being under a sanction would mean that I would have no money to job search, my internet and telephone would have to go, although I would still have to pay for the rest of my contract which is 18 months long (not my choice).

    I would have no money for the accoutrements of life, no clean clothes, no food and if I was really unlucky no home!

    What employer would employ someone who is dirty or/and smelly.

    Also i have seen something crazy, you pointed it out, Osborne wants to cut 12bn from welfare, yet Universal credit has already cost 15bn

  3. Terry Davies

    Its obvious the tories will want cannon fodder when 70,000 moderates are not found in syria.
    the USA are involved in the benefit sanctions. So there will be a readily pool of poverty stricken recruits for the ground troops to be used when Syria bombings are not succesful.

  4. Dez

    Very clear and correct description of what is actually happening out there, for real. What is making this situation worse in that the penalties are applied with little or no thought and certainly no common sense. Trying to get into the job centres for personal attendance costs money that is not available, phone calls,library to get access to computers etc etc. One case recently sanction applied,despite providing doctors evidence of injury, was an unemployed clerical worker injured whilst working labouring with a DWP organised outside working project. All these additional hard line persuasions are being applied with a vengeance with what feels like little evidence that it achieves anything other than flushing out the most vulnerable from their system who just give up.

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