The Great Benefit Sanctions Drive 2010-16 in Historical Perspective

Webster, D. (2018) The Great Benefit Sanctions Drive 2010-16 in Historical Perspective. Welfare Conditionality: Principles, Practices and Perspectives, York, United Kingdom, 26-28 Jun 2018.

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This presentation describes the great benefit sanctions drive of 2010-16, when sanctions on Jobseekers Allowance claimants more than doubled before falling back to their original level, and Employment and Support Allowance sanctions also rose and fell markedly. It compares the scale and severity of this sanctions drive with historical experience, showing that on reasonable criteria it was the harshest regime ever applied since the Poor Law was superseded by National Insurance. It looks at immediate explanations before moving on to describe how a punitive sanctions system has developed over the last 30 years and considering the underlying reasons for the transformation of what for decades was a system of unemployment support run on insurance principles, into what is effectively a secret parallel penal system. It also considers why the three historical episodes of intensified unemployment benefit disqualifications or sanctions – in the later 1920s, the 1990s and the 2010s – took place when they did. It concludes by considering the outlook under Universal Credit and the prospects for reform.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Additional Information:This presentation gives early findings from the research project 'A Critical Analysis of the Use of Disallowances and Sanctions in the UK Unemployment Benefit System since 1911' described at
Keywords:Welfare conditionality, benefit sanctions, unemployment.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Webster, Dr David
Authors: Webster, D.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Author
Publisher Policy:Reproduced with the permission of the Author
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