More than 40,000 benefit sanctions dished out to families with children

Sentinel News

More Than Twenty Applicants For Every Job In LondonBy Chaminda Jayanetti

More than 40,000 benefit sanctions were imposed on claimants with dependent children in 2013/14, according to figures released by the government.

The data, published by the Department of Work and Pensions (pdf) in response to a Freedom of Information request, indicates that anything up to 80,000 children aged 18 and under may have been in affected households.

The request was submitted by a third party via the website www.whatdotheyknow.com, which allows members of the public to submit FOI requests to public bodies.

Benefit sanctions can be imposed by job centre staff for a variety of perceived failings by claimants to do enough to find work. If a sanction is imposed, benefit payments are stopped for a certain amount of time, leaving claimants with little or no money to live on.

They are blamed by campaigners for driving up levels of food poverty, particularly among mothers who…

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