Monday, 3 April 2017

Welfare conditionality, benefit sanctions and homelessness in the UK: ending the 'something for nothing culture' or punishing the poor?

an article by Kesia Reeve (Sheffield Hallam University, UK) published in Journal of Poverty and Social Justice Volume 25 Number 1 (February 2017)


In 2012 the UK government introduced the harshest régime of conditionality and sanctions in the history of the benefits system. The government insists sanctions are not punitive, but critics call this into question.

In particular, the régime has been charged with disproportionately affecting vulnerable people. Based on a survey and qualitative interviews with homeless people, this paper shows that homeless people are disproportionately sanctioned, and argues that it is difficult to see the régime as anything but punishment – punishment not for refusing to participate in the labour market, but for being unable to do so through homelessness, poverty and ill-health.

Full Text (PDF)

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