Ministers accused of shelving plan to cut benefit sanctions

Posted On: 
4th March 2018

A top Labour MP has accused ministers of ditching plans to reduce the number of benefit sanctions.

Frank Field said the move would have lessened the demand for foodbanks
PA Images

The 'yellow card' system, which would have given claimants 14 days to challenge a decision to dock their benefits, has still not appeared more than two years after it was pledged.

In an answer to a written parliamentary question from Labour MP Frank Field, the Government said the “evaluation [of the policy] has proved complex”.

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The move has been condemned by the Work and Pensions Committee chair, who told the Independent people were "reduced to going to food banks because they are being left so hungry".

The number of sanctions has begun to rise again after the introduction of the new Universal Credit system which has been beset by problems.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesperson would not confirm when changes to the warning system might be advanced, adding: “Findings will be shared once the final draft is agreed.”

Mr Field fumed: “People are being reduced to going to food banks because they are being left so hungry, or they are losing their homes, which the yellow card would prevent.”