Labour Research January 2016


End sanctions

The PCS civil service union has called for benefit sanctions to be scrapped as a new report by charity Crisis shows how the regime is leaving people homeless, hungry and destitute.

The report warns that the system is hitting vulnerable people hardest — including those who are already homeless, care leavers and those suffering from mental ill health. 

Where people had been sanctioned in the past year, 21% reported becoming homeless as a result, 16% said they had been forced to sleep rough, 77% had gone hungry or skipped meals, 75% said it negatively affected their mental health and 64% had gone without heating.

Respondents were also at least twice as likely to be sanctioned compared to claimants as a whole, often because the system failed to take their needs and circumstances into account.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “This kind of treatment has no place in a modern employment service and the sanctions regime should be scrapped.”