Crackdown on the benefits claimants who avoid work
BENEFITS claimants who quit their jobs or fail to look for work face tough new sanctions from today.
Reforms to the Jobseeker's Allowance mean that people who persistently put themselves out of work could lose their benefits for three years.
People who leave a job voluntarily will lose all of their Jobseeker's Allowance for 13 weeks under the new regime, introduced by the Department for Work and Pensions.
If it happens again within a year, they will lose their allowance for 26 weeks for a second failure and three years for a third and subsequent failure.
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Those who refuse to actively seek employment or do not make themselves available for work face sanctions of four weeks without JSA for a first failure, rising to 13 weeks for a second or subsequent failures within a year. Benefits will also be cut for four weeks for failing to attend an adviser interview. Subsequent failures will see a 13-week penalty.
Plymouth Cabinet member Cllr Chris Penberthy attacked the reforms.
"I am absolutely outraged that this is happening with almost no notice," Mr Penberthy said.
"The Government is announcing all these cuts and sanctions which without a shadow of a doubt will affect the most vulnerable people in the city.
"The impact of all the changes associated with the welfare reform could have a disastrous affect for us.
"We are working hard to bring new jobs to the city, but unemployment rates are still high, jobs are still too few and far between and money is still sparse."