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One in six jobseekers have allowance stopped by DWP each year

Benefit tales

Guardian research contradicts government claims that only a small minority of jobseekers have been affected by increasingly severe welfare policies

The government has significantly understated the impact of its benefit sanctions regime, according to Guardian research that shows one in six of all jobseekers have their payments stopped each year.

The figures contradict official claims that only a small minority of jobseekers have been affected by the government’s increasingly severe welfare policies.

The Guardian’s analysis shows that of those unemployed in the 12 months up to April 2014, 16.7% faced a financial penalty. The figure for the previous year was 14.8%.

This compares to 7.8% in 2009 and 7.7% in 2010 – the last years of the Labour government.

The Guardian’s annualised figures contrast with the government’s stated monthly sanctions rate of 6% – a figure used to back Whitehall claims that sanctions are imposed only as a “last resort”…

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