Benefits Sanctions Cost More Than They Save, National Audit Office Report Finds


Written by : Martha Gill

Benefits sanctions cost more to administer than they save, a damning report of the Government’s welfare crackdown has found.

The National Audit Office (NAO), the independent watchdog of state spending, said that fining claimants for failing to meet certain conditions caused them greater hardship, and cost the Government almost twice what it gained.

The analysis found the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) spent £30-50 million a year applying sanctions, and around £200 million monitoring the terms it set for job seekers.

But in 2015, it said, the measures saved just £132 million.

Opposition politicians blasted a “discredited system” where ministers have “no idea about the true cost of the sanctions regime”.

Elsewhere in the hard-hitting report, the watchdog said the department had not endeavoured to track costs and benefits of the sanctions – either to the Government or to claimants themselves.

It said the DWP had not known what the effects would be on claimants when it increased benefits sanctions in 2012. Sanctions, the report said, “can lead to lower wages and increase the number of people moving off benefits into inactivity”.

In further attacks on the Government the NAO claimed sanctions were paid inconsistently across the country, blaming “management focus” and “local work coach discretion”.

It also revealed large and growing delays in the system. In August 2016, it said, 42% of decisions about Universal Credit sanctions had taken longer than 28 working days.

Source and continue reading :

New Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab has some worrying views about workers’ rights

The former Housing Secretary does not believe in protecting agency workers or in some under-21s earning the minimum wage The new Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab has some worrying views on workers’ rights including scaling back the minimum wage. The Cabinet Minister, appointed by Prime Minister Theresa May to handle Brexit …

Sir Vince Cable ‘missed key Commons vote to attend meeting on new anti-Brexit party’

Sir Vince Cable missed a crucial vote on Brexit in the Commons this week because he was holding talks on the creation of a new centrist party, it has been claimed. The Sunday Times reports that the Lib Dem leader was attending a private dinner to discuss the idea of …

Jacob Rees-Mogg says UK is heading for no-deal Brexit

Hardline Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg says ‘UK is heading for no deal Brexit… and there’s nothing to be scared of’ -Jacob Rees-Mogg has used his radio show to attack his party leader’s Brexit plan -The west country MP said it was likely Britain would crash out of the EU in March …