In spite of long-standing evidence to the contrary, including officials calling benefit sanctions ‘an achievement’ and revelations by the Guardian, the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has continued to deny that it sets targets for its Jobcentre Plus (JCP) employees to impose sanctions (immediate cessation) on benefit claimants.
Although it will no doubt continue to be denied, the issue is put beyond even the slightest doubt by an excellent find by the ‘Same Difference’ blog.
Same Difference uncovered a circular to JCP staff which:
- includes the imposition of sanctions in ‘key performance areas’ that are measured
- refers specifically to targets for benefit sanctions and ‘stricter benefit regimes’
Here is the document:
Internal DWP communications show that sanctions are not just a target but a ‘key performance area’. For Iain Smith etc to claim that their department is not setting JCP workers targets on the number of people from whom they summarily withdraw financial support is evidently patent nonsense.