The DWP is now pushing 400,000 more people onto the sanctions regime

Mr Topple

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has published its latest claimant count estimate for unemployment benefits. But look beyond the figures, and a picture is revealed of how many estimated people, currently unemployed but not subject to sanctions, will be so under Universal Credit.

The number is around 400,000 claimants, higher than a previous estimate of 300,000. And within this group may well be carers, sick and disabled people.

The DWP: moving the goalposts

The Claimant Count was previously the number of out-of-work people claiming welfare, specifically Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA). But recently, after the Office for National Statistics raised concerns about its accuracy, the DWP changed it. It became the “Alternative Claimant Count”. This was due to the introduction of Universal Credit.

Essentially, the Alternative Claimant Count includes those getting JSA plus people on Universal Credit who are required to look for work.

But what the count also includes…

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