Parliamentary Committees and Public Enquiries
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Committee presses for clear answer on benefit sanctions

The Work and Pensions Committee recently (26 March 2020) published the latest correspondence with the Department for Work and Pensions on the implications of the coronavirus outbreak.

Published recently:

  • A letter from the Secretary of State Thérèse Coffey on the DWP’s approach to benefit sanctions and Local Housing Allowance with a reply from Chair of the Committee Stephen Timms (with table from House of Commons Library).
  • A letter from the Chair to the DWP Permanent Secretary about DWP’s performance in processing new Universal Credit claims.

Chair's comment

In response to the update from the Secretary of State on sanctions faced by benefit claimants, Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP, Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, recently said:

“At a time of unprecedented national crisis, the last thing people need to be worrying about is a benefit sanction. And DWP staff must be allowed to prioritise the enormous influx of Universal Credit claims, so that people get the money they need as quickly as possible. The Secretary of State must clear this up quickly: will anyone be at risk of being sanctioned in the next three months?”

The Committee recently held an evidence session with the Secretary of State and the Permanent Secretary. The meeting can be viewed online here with a transcript likely to be made available later this week.

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