A disabled person on the DWP’s Work Programme was three times as likely to be sanctioned as to be found a job, according to evidence given to the Scottish Parliament’s Social Security Committee by Inclusion Scotland.

New powers will allow the Scottish Government to design new employment services for disabled people and those at risk of long-term unemployment.

Third sector groups giving evidence to the committee welcomed the Scottish Government’s commitment to ending the use of sanctions in devolved work schemes.

Academics at the University of Glasgow have found that the Tory sanctions regime has “detrimental financial, material, emotional and health impacts” and pushes those on JSA and ESA into debt and reliance on foodbanks.

A report by the National Audit Office last year revealed that the administrative costs of the brutal benefit sanctions system dwarves the income removed from those on lowest incomes.

Commenting, SNP MSP Ruth Maguire said:
“The Tory sanctions regime is completely discredited – not only has it been shown to cause severe hardship, but the cost of administration dwarves the money saved by stopping benefits.

It’s absolutely shocking that a disabled person on the DWP’s Work Programme was three times as likely to be sanctioned as to find a job. The clue is in the name – employability services should get people into work, not find excuses to stop their incomes.

With the limited powers over welfare that are being devolved, the Scottish Government will build a social security system with dignity, respect and fairness at its heart.”