Dr David Webster, University of Glasgow
This seminar will present a critical analysis of the UK system of benefit ‘sanctions’. These are financial penalties imposed by officials on claimants of Jobseekers Allowance (JSA), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and lone parent benefits for alleged ‘failures’ in retaining, looking for or preparing for employment. They currently affect around one quarter of all JSA claimants and have been linked to a range of problems including the growth of food banks.
The seminar will examine the concepts and beliefs which have driven the growth of the sanctions system over the past 30 years, in the light of the earlier history of poor relief and unemployment insurance. It will also consider the prospects for reform following the highly critical report by the House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee (March 2015) and the re-election of the Conservative government.
Monday 1st June