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What is your opinion on benefit sanctions?

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Bamboo
Bamboo Community member Posts: 20 Connected
edited September 2022 in Coffee lounge
I'm really interested to know what people think about them. 

I disagree with them and don't think there is anything that could be said that would change my mind but I am open to hearing opinions. 

Is there a place for benefit sanctions? In what situations do you think they should be used?

Comments

  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Championing
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    Hi there 

    I think if they are imposed fairly and reasonably then they do have a place but before being sanctioned claimants should be informed and given a chance to give reasons why they have not completed their commitments 

    Some sanctions are just unreasonable but what would stop claimants just getting their benefit and not attending job centre appt or not looking for work if there was no consequence 
  • bg844
    bg844 Community member Posts: 3,887 Championing
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    My views are as above.
  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser, Scope Member Posts: 7,980 Championing
    edited September 2022
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    Thanks everyone for sharing your views. I think it could be a really insightful thread  :)
    Community Volunteer Adviser with professional knowledge of education, special educational needs and disabilities and EHCP's. Pronouns: She/her. 

    Please note: if I use the online community outside of its hours of administration, I am doing so in a personal capacity only.
  • Signon
    Signon Community member Posts: 16 Listener
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    Hi if you dont communicate with DWP and fail to turn up for appointments then you probably deserve to get sanctioned.
  • Adeline
    Adeline Community member Posts: 141 Empowering
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    Signon said:
    Hi if you dont communicate with DWP and fail to turn up for appointments then you probably deserve to get sanctioned.
    I don't agree that anyone 'deserves' to have to go without food and risk the roof over their head. 

    There are many reasons people don't or can't communicate with the DWP. And sanctions are regularly abused and misused.
  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Championing
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    From 2018
    https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/benefit-sanctions-are-harmful-and-ineffective/

    https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmworpen/955/955.pdf
    "At best, evidence on the effectiveness of sanctions is mixed, and at worst, it shows them to be counterproductive. The Coalition Government had little or no understanding of the likely impact of a tougher sanctions regime when it was introduced in 2012. It said the policy would be reviewed on an ongoing basis to understand its impact and the extent to which it was achieving its objectives. But six years later, it is none the wiser. The lack of any such evaluation is unacceptable....the policy appears to be nothing other than arbitrarily punitive." page 61.

    Little has changed since 2018.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,289 Championing
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    Signon said:
    Hi if you dont communicate with DWP and fail to turn up for appointments then you probably deserve to get sanctioned.

    That's rather harsh in my opinion. Some people are unable to use the phone or go out to be able to attend any appointments. How is a sanction fair in these circumstances?
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Biblioklept
    Biblioklept Community member Posts: 5,022 Championing
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    No. No, no, no, no. Just no. I don't agree with benefit sanctions at all. 

    Sanctioning people and putting them further into debt and desperation isn't going to make them suddenly able to undertake work search or find work. In fact I'd go as far as to say the opposite is more likely to happen. Desperate people do desperate things.

    I don't agree with sanctions, I don't agree with the benefit cap and I don't agree with the 2 child limit. 

    They're all a great way to point anger and frustration at other people rather than looking to the top.
  • bg844
    bg844 Community member Posts: 3,887 Championing
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    Thinking back to 2015, the DWP removed fake posters which shown people happy they had received a sanction as it made them work harder to look for a job!
    https://web.archive.org/web/20160107141650/http://dial2donate.org/dwp-uses-fake-claimants-in-benefit-sanctions-leaflet/

    I personally agree with others that it really isn’t right to sanction. The two child limit and cap, yes. Sanctions, no.
  • Biblioklept
    Biblioklept Community member Posts: 5,022 Championing
    edited February 2023
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    @bg844 with the 2 child limit I'm wondering if you agree with it blanketly? For example if a couple were financially independant and supported themselves with 5 kids but suddenly both lost work should still be capped to only receive support for 2 of their children?

    Also I didn't know that about the fake posters!!! Thanks for sharing
  • bg844
    bg844 Community member Posts: 3,887 Championing
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    with the 2 child limit I'm wondering if you agree with it blanketly?
    Not blankety. I like the idea with certain exceptions, like you have said. A couple who have never worked, yes a 2 child cap should apply. Someone who is disabled and has never worked or had to give up their career, they should be excluded from the cap too. I think it should go down to a Decision Maker who would agree if it’s reasonable to pay for more.

    I also agree with the current exceptions to this rule.
  • Grinchy
    Grinchy Community member Posts: 1,932 Championing
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    i'm not a fan of the sanctions, they don't seem to take into account a clients problems, never been sanctioned myself though
  • JBS2022
    JBS2022 Scope Member Posts: 2,075 Championing
    edited February 2023
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    It depends on the reasons behind the sanction, if someone who is a jobseeker is not actively looking for work, or deliberately doesn't attend appointments then sanctions are justified (they should get a couple of warnings before sanctioning). I don't agree with sanctions against people with disabilities, although I don't know how often that happens. If people have difficulties that cause potential issues like not being contactible or intellectual vulnerabilities etc then they should be supported by the DWP. 
    Life is better in a fishtank  🐟
  • Signon
    Signon Community member Posts: 16 Listener
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    I agree that people with disabilities or vulnerable should not be sanctioned.
    Claimants who dont have disabilities run the risk of being sanctioned once they agree to their job commitments 
  • Adeline
    Adeline Community member Posts: 141 Empowering
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    I feel as though anyone not keeping to their commitments has a reason. Some may be disability, some may be social or economical or lots of other barriers. I feel those that are able to keep to their commitments would do so regardless of threat of sanction. Those who can't, the sanction clearly doesn't work as a deterrant so it's just needlessly cruel and further penalising people who are already having to survive on very little. 

    The standard monthly allowance that a person is expected to live on is less than I pay for my energy bill each month. 
  • Signon
    Signon Community member Posts: 16 Listener
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    In my opinion claimants in the vulnerable groups ,with disabilities and mental health issues should be exempt from being sanctioned by DWP
  • Signon
    Signon Community member Posts: 16 Listener
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    would like to hear others views on benefit punitive sanctions and commitments
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