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Monday, 8 December 2014

Foodbank report: Unjust sanctions are merely anecdotal

The food poverty report published this week drew lots of attention to the role that benefit delays and sanctions play in forcing people to rely on foodbanks.

The idea that unfair sanctions are unusual, or some kind of -one-off, is utter nonsense.

The regime of conditionality operated by this government has given rise to a scale of unfair sanctioning that is systemic in nature. So much so that the system of reconsidering sanctions has been dismantled completely broken down (see David Webster’s evidence passim). 

Unfair sanctions aren’t some rogue aberration, as the DWP has already conceded (see Donkey passim), they are systemic to the benefit system itself.

A mere glance at the proportion of sanctions that are subsequently overturned by claimants points to a huge, organised and deliberate system of injustice directed against claimants.

Apparently the report's chair, Frank Field, (himself a former Secretary of State for work and pensions) can’t join the dots between ‘anecdotal’ cases of sanctioning injustice and the overnight explosion of sanctioning since October 2012.

That he apparently sees no connection between ‘anecdotal’ evidence of unjust sanctions and a tribunal system that previously recorded a 90% success record in favour of claimants overturning sanctions beggars belief.