The County You Live, Work And Play
Lanarkshire Has Increased Benefits Cut
The number of people having their unemployment benefits docked in Lanarkshire has increased by 36 per cent under the coalition Government, according to new figures.
Statistics from the Department for Work and Pensions show that between October 2012 and September 2014 there were 18,194 sanctions imposed against people claiming Jobseekers’s Allowance (JSA) in the region.
This is a rise of 36.6 per cent on the 13,322 sanctions that were imposed between October 2008 and September 2010, the years before the coalition Government’s welfare reform came into being.
Since they have been in power, the Conservative-led coalition Government have introduced more stringent rules for people claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance, which can lead to the benefit being taken away altogether for a period of 13 weeks.
The new rules came into force in October 2012 in an attempt to crack down on benefits cheats and those who were not actively looking for work.
This coincided with a sharp rise in sanctions with 18,194 being imposed between October 2012 and September 2014 compared to 15,890 between October 2010 and September 2012.
Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said: “Where people don’t play by the rules, don’t accept the support on offer, or refuse to take work, it’s only right that there should be consequences. Sanctions are a key part of the contract we have with jobseekers. We must not forget that it is hardworking British taxpayers who fund the welfare system, and we have a duty to them to ensure their taxes are spent fairly.”
The most common reason for a JSA sanction is failing to actively look for work, as well as failure to participate in employment programmes designed to help people back to work, including the Work Programme, and not having a good reason for missing a meeting at the Jobcentre.