A coalition of national churches and charities has criticised the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) over its refusal to undertake a full review of the benefit sanctions system. The DWP has issued its overdue response to the Work and Pensions Select Committee inquiry into benefit sanctions, but has failed to commit to a review as recommended.
The Select Committee, the Government’s own advisors, the Social Security Advisory Committee, charities and churches have all called for a full independent review of the regime. These groups have highlighted the extreme hardship caused, the inconsistent and unjust application of sanctions and the lack of evidence that they encourage people into work.
The Baptist Union, Church in Wales, Church of Scotland, Methodist Church, United Reformed Church and charity Church Action on Poverty have called for an immediate suspension of sanctions against families with children and people with mental ill-health. They say the DWP’s response does not go far enough and have called again for a review.