DWP Admit They Sanctioned £130 million – So what did they do with the money?

by richardhutton

In the Explanatory note to their Emergency Jobseeker’s Bill, the authors note that:

“The Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Bill is necessary to preserve the position under legislation relating to employment programmes, such as the Government’s ‘Work Programme’, which has been the subject of an adverse Court of Appeal judgment, the effect of which would be that the Government would incur a liability of up to an estimated £130 million in repaying claimants who have been sanctioned under these programmes”

So, they deprived people unlawfully of £130 million. But, of course, they still intend to continue sanctioning people who fell afoul of their illegal legislation, but whose sanction is yet to be processed:

“Fast-tracking is necessary to safeguard against the risk of having to repay sanctions to claimants, and of losing the ability to impose sanctions where decisions have been stockpiled”

Evidently, £130 million is the minimum amount they claim to have taken from people illegally. And are refusing to reimburse.

What have they done with this money? Perhaps they gave it to a Work Programme provider: ‘Interserve joint venture awarded £130m contracts in DWP’s Work Programme’. Maybe they provided it to local councils: “In order to mitigate the impact of the benefit cap, DWP is making available an additional £130 million to councils to fund Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP)”. More likely, it was swallowed by the Universal Credit implementation costs of £600million – £1 billion, at least.

But really – who knows?