The failing benefit sanctions system is unfairly targeting Britain’s youth

Sadly, I’m not surprised by this appalling statistic. One of the Jobcentre Whistleblowers, who leaked the news that Jobcentres had targets, also stated very firmly that the people they targeted for sanctions are the young, and the meek and inoffensive. Six foot builders with hair-trigger tempers and access to sledgehammers will not be sanctioned. Teenagers and people in their twenties will, because they don’t have the self-confidence or social skills to challenge the bullying handed out to them. Apart from which, the government clearly expects that they can be supported by their parents, as shown by the plans to remove Housing Benefit for those under 25. It also suits their narrative of Britain’s welfare bill being inflated by feckless NEETs doing nothing but wearing baseball caps while playing with their mobile phones.

Benefit tales

Jobcentre Plus is failing young people, who are almost twice as likely to see their benefits stopped

Every two minutes a young person somewhere in the UK has their benefits stopped by a Jobcentre. Despite making up only 27% of jobseeker’s allowance claimants, young people are the recipients of 43% of the sanctions issued. Figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions also reveal an alarming number of sanction decisions taken against young people (38,969) being eventually overturned, suggesting they have been incorrectly or unfairly applied in the first place.

People can see their benefit payments taken away for a number of reasons, from failing to attend a meeting at a Jobcentre to leaving a job without a good reason or because of misconduct. Sanctions can last between four weeks and three years.

read the rest of this article by Denise Hatton on the Guardian’s Housing Network blog here:…

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