Six alarming revelations from the benefit sanctions report

A cross-party committee of MPs has recommended the Department for Work and Pensions urgently review its controversial benefit sanctions regime.

The Work and Pensions select committee's report said there was evidence sanctions - where a person's benefits are halted or docked - were causing "severe financial hardship".

"Benefit sanctions are controversial because they withhold subsistence-level benefits from people who may have little or no other income," the committee's chair Dame Anne Begg said. The policy must then be applied fairly and proportionately. The system must also be capable of identifying and protecting vulnerable people, including those with mental health problems and learning disabilities. And it should avoid causing severe financial hardship. The system as currently applied does not always achieve this."

Here are some of the alarming examples cited in evidence given to the committee. You can read their report in full here.

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