Bruce Barnes is working to force govt into independent inquiry into benefit sanctions

Bruce Barnes

I don't believe that the discretion attached to the sanction rules is being applied sensibly. Every benefit rules has an element of discretion and this element should take into account local job market conditions, claimants voluntary activity and caring commitments. One reason that the system is failing claimants is that decisions on sanctions are being made by Adjudication 0fficers who are not present at the interview. The officer at the interview goes through a tick box style of questionnaire and explains to the claimant that any decision isn't being made by him or her.The delegation to another may on occasion save the person on the desk aggro but it doesn't make for fully informed decision making.
The review process for sanctions has to be speeded up so a claimants right to ask for a review isn't seen as an additional sanction

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