Wednesday, 30 November 2016 13:32

SANCTIONS SHAMBLES – DWP regime costs more than it saves

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The DWP’s hated sanctions regime costs taxpayers more than double the money than the DWP purport to 'save' according to a new report from the independent National Audit Office – showing the UK government’s deeply flawed, ideological approach to claimant conditionality and benefit sanctions regime is simply not fit for purpose.

The NAO report revealed that the administrative costs of the brutal benefit sanctions system dwarves the income removed from those on lowest incomes whilst also causing severe hardship to families up and down the country. The costs of administering the cruel system is £285 million a year, and is on the back of the £132 million removed from JSA and ESA payments.

The report also reiterates the point that there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that sanctions work and their imposition varies wildly across the UK.

Commenting on the report, SNP MSP and Convener of Holyrood’s Social Security Committee, Sandra White, said:

“These latest revelations show how utterly misguided this Tory government is when it comes to welfare policy and supporting people into work. They must put an end to this brutal and ineffective sanctions regime immediately.

“The fact that this cruel sanctions regime costs significantly more to administer than it saves shows that that the Tories are not concerned with the facts or saving money but are intent on punishing vulnerable people for the sake of it – and this approach is costing the taxpayer.

“The Scottish Government has been taking effective action to build a social security system based on dignity and respect, and just last week it was confirmed that the Scottish Government would not take part in sanctions for the employability support programmes to be devolved – a major step forward in our attempts to move away from the cruel Westminster system.

“By any measure, the Tory approach to welfare is failing – and is putting insufferable strain on families up and down the country. The Tories must rethink their approach before more people suffer needlessly at the hands of this failed system.”

The National Audit Office study is reported on Page 1 of today’s Daily Record.