As welfare changes begin to affect people across the country, Citizens Advice Scotland is producing briefings outlining their impact on people across Scotland in our Voices from the Frontline series. This briefing looks at the increasing number of sanctions that have been applied to jobseekers in the past two years and the effects that they have had on claimants.
In April 2012, over 240 sanctions were being applied in Scotland every working day. Bureau evidence shows that these sanctions can immediately put claimants in a crisis situation, as evidenced by an increase in the number of clients requiring referrals for food parcels. From October 2012, the new JSA sanctions regime will impose longer sanctions on claimants. We are concerned that rather than helping claimants into the jobmarket, sanctions are actually pushing claimants towards hardship.