Gingerbread responds to the National Audit Office report on sanctions

Posted 30 November 2016

Gingerbread’s research shows that benefit sanctions are both ineffective and disproportionally affect single parents

Responding to the National Audit Office report on sanctions, Gingerbread Research Officer Sumi Rabindrakumar said:

Our own research has found that single parents are more likely to be unfairly referred for sanction than other JSA claimants; job centre advisers are getting it wrong far too often. We hear from single parents who are threatened with sanctions if they don’t take jobs that are unsuitable and unsustainable. We’re particularly concerned that new rules starting in April will mean even more single parents with young children are at risk.

“Despite the mounting evidence that sanctions are ineffective, costly for the government and hugely damaging for those who are sanctioned, the government has done very little to fix this broken system.”

Gingerbread argues that the Department for Work and Pensions’ response to a Work and Pensions Select Committee enquiry has been weak. The charity is calling on the government to pilot a genuine ‘yellow card’ system and to make hardship payments automatic for at risk groups, particularly those with young children.