Record numbers of jobseekers are being ‘sanctioned’ – losing all of their benefit for weeks or months if they are deemed to be not trying hard enough to find work. Here we find out what happens to claimants when this happens, and reveal the pressure on jobcentre staff to cut off people’s money





“If, unhappily, bad times were to come, and our opponents were in power, then, running true to form, they would be likely to cut these social provisions on the plea that the nation could not meet the cost.” 



‘Secondly taxpayers became liable to pay back Jobseekers Allowance to all the people who had been sanctioned following their refusal to participate in various work experience schemes. This would have come to £130 million. I chose to abstain because I did not think it reasonable to expect the taxpayer to have to foot the bill for the Government’s incompetence.’

~ Sheil Gilmore MP (Labour, Edinburgh East) March 20th 2013



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11 thoughts on “

  1. David Moynagh says:

    This decision by the Blairite labour party will cost them dearly. They have betrayed and abandoned their traditional labour voter. All my votes will now go to SNP who are more like a labour party than westminster labour are themselves. By not opposing the tories they have in effect opposed the people who gave them votes. All that will change.

  2. Diane says:

    my friend’s daughter was recently sanctioned and is going thru hell surviving on crisis money, so she sent this FOI to the DWP

    Please keep looking on the web site (link below) for the answer

    From: A Garbett

    22 March 2013

    Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

    I was recently sanctioned on JSA because I was told I didn’t apply
    for every job, some of the jobs I wasn’t qualified for and hence I
    didn’t apply for (n.b. I apply for everything now! and should I be
    called in for an interview for a job I’m unqualified for, I shall
    profusely apologise for wasting their time and will explain why I
    have to apply for every job).
    I have a tweleve-year-old daughter that I couldn’t feed or send to
    school (as I had no food or power to launder her school uniform and
    this caused terrible hardship) — all for no reason of my own.

    I now realise this was a smoke screen to sanction as many people as
    possible to save money, see the Guardian

    notwithstanding, the former, I would like to know:

    1) if you have been sanctioned for not fault of your own, can you
    claim for a loss of income from the decision maker? If not who do
    you claim from?

    2) How many people are needlessly challenged for “not” looking for

    3) what age groups? working abilities (e.g the disabled that have
    been found “fit” for work)? Semi illiterate/illiterate? are the
    most likely to be sanctioned for no reason of their own

  3. Serenity says:

    It’s not about the governments incompetence it’s about money owed to people who are legally entitled to it can they not even understand English if you don’t pay them you have stolen the money, can’t recall them ever being much concerned about tax payers money being used to bail out banks or fight illegal wars or give tax breaks to millionaires who don’t even pay tax or any of the myriad of other nefarious uses to which it has been put, so why now?


    Kate Middleton feels unwell, Queen has the trots, all headline news. Fast forward to the real world where people are dying……….
    Not the headline news that the privileged by way of birthright are afforded, but carefully pushed onto the back burner, hidden from sight.
    Human beings, flesh and blood. Having the same skin, vital organs and skeleton as the rich, but doomed to insignificance by a non caring government.

    They dont shop in Harrods, nor do they drive pearlescent limousines, they dress for warmth, not fashion. Mummy and Daddy loved them just the same, maybe more?

    The toffs were sent away to be educated. To be taught the fundamentals of life. Did Mummy and Daddy love them so much they sent them away?
    Of course they did!
    Tristran and Angeline did them proud. Mixing in the right circles and fond of their new found superiority………..
    Meanwhile in the real world, Tom and Jane struggled to make ends meet. They left school to chase jobs to help mum and dad get by………..
    Education meant nothing to them really. They had a firm understanding that we were all created equal and had a circle of ordinary friends. Working long hours they brought in a minimum wage that allowed their parents to shop at a hypermarket on the edge of town.

    Tristran became a banker in his fathers business and Angeline attended the sorbonne. Tristran shopped in Fortnum and Masons whilst his sister preferred the fashions of the Champs Elysees……………

    Four people, two different backgrounds……

    Just one problem, they will never be equal in our country!
    The haves and have nots are likened to pedigree and mongrels…..
    Sadly the cross breeding is usually on the side of the wealth, maybe the reason they imagine they are superior. A genetic abnormality?

    Tom and Jane are technically job seekers. The fish finger firm where they were employed closed down.
    Toms been sanctioned because the bus broke down on the way to an interview, he’s scared to tell his mum…..
    Tristrans turned twenty one and can use the cash from grandads trust fund to buy a flat in canary wharf.

    From the new flat,Tristran can see the chapel where the poor go to get food parcels…..
    Daddy and his friends were right, “they are a blight on the landscape”

    “Tomorrow i’ll ring Daddys chum Rupert to put more pressure on Ian Duncan Smith, his classmate”

    “If sanctions arent working , would it be possible to kill them?”, i asked….

    Ian Duncan Smith rang me today and said, “Cant you see i’m trying”

    1. Philip S Howell says:

      Geoff, That story was great! I’ve just been sanctioned and It’s tough to survive now even though I managed to convince ‘the decision maker’ to give me hardship (40% of what I’d normally get for 2 weeks… except I have to live on it for a month.) Bear in mind that’s about £60 for a month. I will lose my home and I cannot afford to eat much. I will be forced to live in the wilderness and kill wildlife and cook it just to survive before long. I have a degree in biochemistry too but nobody cares. I told the jobcentre I may aswell go and kill somebody and go to prison for murder. I think I’ll pick a pedophile, someone that deserves it. At least that way, I can eat three meals a day and have a roof over my head. It sounds a lot better to me than starving to death and losing my home just for missing ONE non-signing appointment!.

  5. Laz says:

    Hey , if Scotland gets its independence can I please come up and ask for refuge being a persecuted member of the disabled community here in England ?

  6. Melissa says:

    So i’ve been on the work programme since march and they have sanctioned me twice for being late when my sister was in hospital and didn’t have no one else to mind my 16 month old nephew .. so today i had a singing on appointment at the jobcentre also an appointment with my advisor at the work programme at the same time now im worried they may sanction me for 52 weeks even if its pure proof that i could only go to one place which was to sign on thats more of a priority than going to see my advisor while she gives me a letter they don’t care there taking everyone off benefits and i hope i dont lose my flat cause if im sanctioned that long i doubt my housing benefit will be paid i say hell to jobcentres let them go find you a job that meets your needs see if they can do any better job centres should be people working for the public to help you get the right job to stay in it not to torture you sending you to all these courses that have no relation to getting a job math and english courses might as well send us all back to school any suggestions what to doo???

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