In 2014 a Task Force comprised of Salfords Financial Inclusion Practitioners Group in Salford was invited by the Chair of the Skills and Work Board to produce a report into the impact of DWP conditionality and benefit sanctions in Salford. An interim report was produced in August 2014; endorsed by the Skills and Work Board and publicly launched in October 2014.
The conclusions of that report will surprise no-one. The threat and use of sanctions help no-one to move into work but do cause damage to the wellbeing of vulnerable claimants and can lead to hunger, debt and destitution. Furthermore, public and voluntary sector organisations were increasingly having to step in to support claimants in crisis due to sanctions but also benefit delays. This added to the strain on resources when faced with local government budget cuts.
It was recognised that the impacts of welfare reform were only just emerging so it was agreed an additional report would be produced after a period of at least 12 months had elapsed and particularly following the introduction of Universal Credit. That report can now be viewed here. Again, the conclusions should surprise no-one.
- Dr. Lisa Scullion talking about national research on conditionality and behaviour change, and
- Neal Cooper director of Manchester Church Action on Poverty introducing videos about the impact of sanctions like the one below.
- Alec McFadden of Salford Unemployed and Community Resource Centre.
- Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett.
- Catherine Connors, Salford Skills and WorkBusiness Manager introducing the one year on report.
- Alison Page of Salford CVS.
JobcentrePlus were also in attendance.
We thought GMWRAG members would have an interest in all aspects of this subject.