The Guardian newspaper claims to have evidence that the DWP is planning to increase the amount that employment and support allowance (ESA) claimants can be sanctioned, from £28.15 a week to £71 a week for a potentially indefinite period.
At present, claimants in the work-related activity group of ESA can lose their work-related activity component of £28.15 a week if they fail to follow orders issued by private sector work programme providers or fail to attend work-focused interviews. They retain their £71.00 a week basic allowance, however.
But according to a draft letter to claimants obtained by the Guardian, the sanction is set to leap to £71.00 a week for as long as a claimant fails to follow the orders. Payments will continue to be reduced for up to four weeks, even after the claimant has complied. The proposed new rules, which do not require a vote in parliament, are set to be introduced from 3 December.
The Guardian is also reporting that the DWP has not ruled out introducing unpaid work experience of an indefinite length for WRAG claimants by 3 December.
Full story in the Guardian.