Single parents hit by benefits sanctions

Single parent web

One Parent Families Scotland has said welfare problems can often make it harder for parents to get a job

10th October 2017 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Benefits sanctions are hitting single parents particularly hard, new charity research has shown.

One Parent Families Scotland (OPFS) has published a study which shows the present benefits conditionality regime disproportionately affects vulnerable single parents, particularly those who have poor health or are disabled.

The report - Why Conditionality is Unnecessary, Unjust and Ineffective - shows that this is often leaving parents distressed, impoverished and reliant on foodbanks. 

OPFS says sanctioning does not help people into work but is more likely to make it harder to get a job.

Satwat Rehman, director of OPFS, said: “Our research involving interviews with single parents over a period of two years shows the current benefit conditionality regime, and the fear of being sanctioned, is resulting in worsening health, especially mental health, with resulting negative impacts on children.“

The report points out that one in seven single parents receiving jobseeker’s allowance were sanctioned in a single year.

It recommends that Westminster should pilot alternatives to replace financial sanctions and current conditionality regime.

The charity says that safeguards are not in place with resulting impact on family health and wellbeing and that single parents are being forced into inappropriate jobs.

Rehman added: “Sticking stubbornly to the line that sanctions are necessary favours political convenience over effective policy.

“It ignores the unfair and disproportionate rules that don’t reflect the realities of single parents who are seeking paid work.”