Glasgow’s Poverty Leadership Panel has published a report outlining the findings of research carried out on the impact of welfare reform on Glasgow’s citizens. The report, which is the work of Glasgow City Council intern Joanne Pattton, is the result of a 3 month study for which a steering group involving public and third sector partners was formed, to inform the course of the research. It sets out a number of key findings, not least of which is the participants’ willingness to work in an economy where the jobseeker to jobs ratio is 2:1.
The study found that JCP advisers often overlooked barriers to work, such as the poor health experienced by some claimants, when they were conducting Claimant Commitment interviews, resulting in the conditions placed on them to find work being impossible to fulfil, often leading to sanctions. Some of these people had been incorrectly refused Employment and Support Allowance and were instead forced to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance. While many of those interviewed for the purposes of this study subsequently had these decisions overturned, it is unclear how many claimants there are who have not appealed against ESA decisions and who may have been sanctioned or are suffering unreasonable requirements to find work.
They also found that despite the DWP’s claims that increased conditionality would improve employment rates, those who were subject to them did not believe that it was helping them to find work and instead claimed it was forcing people to apply for unsuitable jobs.
Source: Poverty Leadership Panel