According to new figures just released, the South East sees 132 per cent increase in problems with JSA sanctions. Lee Hodgson from IW CAB says the minimum four week sanction is setting people up to fail and creating a barrier which can stop them from looking for work.
Isle of Wight CAB warns the minimum four week sanction for JSA claimants risks pushing people on the Isle of Wight further away from work, according to new figures released today by the charity.
132% sanctions increase in the South East The South East has seen a 132 per cent increase in the number of problems related to JSA sanctions compared to the same period the year before.
In the three months to December 2013 Isle of Wight CAB alone dealt with 47 JSA sanction problems the highest by someway in the South East and in the worst 10% of the UK
Longer minimum sanctions counterproductive Citizens Advice is concerned that the longer minimum sanction period—when people are left without the financial support of their benefit—is having a counterproductive effect. Claimants are distracted from job-hunting as they focus on putting food on the table and keeping a roof over their head.
Since the extension of the minimum sanction in October 2012 over £7 million has been spent on JSA sanction appeal tribunals.
Struggling to make ends meet Citizens Advice has found that many JSA claimants are already struggling to make ends meet. From October to December last 2013:
- 1 in 4 Citizens Advice clients with a JSA sanction problem had dependent children
- 1 in 4 identified as being disabled of suffering from a long term health condition
- 1 in 6 also had a debt problem
- 1 in 10 had issues with rent arrears or threat or reality of homelessness
Pushing people further into debt The extra pressure and financial burden caused by sanctions risks parents struggling to put food on the table, pushing people further into debt and impacting upon their health.
Of the 100,000 foodbank vouchers issued by Citizens Advice Bureaux last year, 16 per cent were needed because of benefit sanctions.
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