Government admits Jobcentres set targets to take away benefits

(5 Posts)
ttosca Sun 10-Nov-13 00:46:18

Department of Work and Pensions backtracks on denial of Guardian investigation that some jobcentres have been taking people off benefits amid pressure to meet targets

Jobcentre staff around the country have been involved in a drive to kick people off benefits amid pressure to meet welfare targets set by their managers, the government has admitted.

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) initially dismissed revelations in the Guardian last weekend that Jobcentre Plus employees were tricking vulnerable claimants into losing welfare entitlements. A whistleblower said staff at his jobcentre were given targets of three people a week to refer for sanctions, where benefits are removed for up to six months.

The work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, appeared on Sky News on Sunday claiming it was "claptrap" that anyone would "hand out edicts to staff to sanction three people", and said the story was a "conspiracy".

Since then, further email evidence has been uncovered showing individual or group targets are being imposed to stop people's benefits at offices across the country. In some cases staff have claimed they have been threatened with sanctions themselves if they do not reach the targets.

Following the Guardian investigation, a group of trade unions representing jobcentre staff have written to management seeking "urgent clarification" on the issue of targets for referrals and sanctions.

cont'd

www.theguardian.com/politics/2011/apr/08/jobcentres-benefits-sanctions-targets

ssd Sun 10-Nov-13 20:16:26

hellish.

GreenGiant3 Sun 10-Nov-13 20:32:50

confused this story was published in April 2011... Why are you posting this now OP???

ttosca Tue 12-Nov-13 13:42:44

Yes, apologies. I posted it before I checked the date.

Still, nothing has been done to address this problem. Arguably, it's worse now.

NiceTabard Wed 13-Nov-13 19:24:51

There was a recent article somewhere saying that jobcentre people had targets to meet in how many people they sanctioned. I'll see if I can find it.

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