The total number of sanctions imposed on benefit claimants in the year to September 2013 was 897,690 – the highest figure for any 12-month period since jobseeker's allowance was introduced in 1996 – according to figures published by the Department for Work and Pensions.
The figures show the number of sanctions imposed under the tougher new regime introduced by the coalition government in October 2012. They cover jobseeker's allowance (JSA) and employment and support allowance (ESA).
The large increase in the number of sanctions come before the coalition government introduces its even tougher 'claimant commitment' that will require claimants to do more to prove they are actively seeking work.
Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said: 'As part of the government's long-term economic plan, we are ending the something for nothing culture and supporting those who want to work hard and play by the rules'.
Source: Jobseeker’s Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance Sanctions: decisions made to September 2013, Department for Work and Pensions
Links: Report (spreadsheet) | DWP press release |TUC press release | Guardian report