Responding to today’s publication of DWP statistics on hardship payments, Emily said:

“Three years ago, the Tories introduced a much harsher sanctions regime. Communities have seen the impact of this, as it has added to the number of people relying on food banks.

“Finally today the DWP has released its own figures on hardship payments, which more than quadrupled in the first year of the new sanctions regime. These are only available to the most destitute. This is fresh evidence from the DWP itself that the sanctions regime is completely broken.

“Today’s figures give fresh urgency to Labour’s call for an independent review the entire system. Sanctions have been causing too much hardship for far too long, and these figures show that the Conservative Government has known this for some time and has been sitting on the evidence.”

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