Sanctioning disabled claimants: interrogating the evidence

Inequalities

This seems like a good time to take stock of the evidence on perhaps the biggest issue in the benefits system over the past few years: benefits sanctioning. The massive ESRC-funded ‘welfare conditionality’ project has this week published its final findings, prompting headlines that “Benefit sanctions found to be ineffective and damaging and “Benefit sanctions increasing poverty and pushing people into ‘survival crime,’ finds report”. The Parliamentary Select Committee is doing an inquiry, as is the Government’s former sanctioning reviewer Matt Oakley for one of the think-tanks. And I myself have written about in a paper last year and Demos report earlier this year.

But often missed in the hubbub are the subtleties of the evidence, a deeper effort to get to the bottom of what we know. Over a few blog posts, I want to interrogate some of the existing evidence…

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