The unemployed and the moral case for benefit sanctions

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This article assesses the Conservative-led Coalition Government’s (2010–2015) record on benefit sanctions and work-for-your-benefit (workfare) policies. It is argued that while the schemes largely built upon previous Labour Governments’ (1997–2010) policies, the Coalition Government also switched back to a traditional Conservative discourse, according to which jobseekers are part of a “work-shy” minority who live at the expense of the “hard working” taxpaying majority. The crackdown on unemployment benefits was broadly popular with the public, which explains why the Coalition Government was able to implement a relatively harsh benefit sanctions regime. Work-for-your-benefit policies, by contrast, were faced with a series of political and legal challenges.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)130-150
    Number of pages20
    JournalJournal of Social Security Law
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Bibliographical note

    This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in the Journal of Social Security Law following peer review. The definitive published version Daguerre, Anne (2015) The unemployed and the moral case for benefit sanctions. Journal of Social Security Law, 22 (3). pp. 130-150. ISSN 1354-7747 is available online on Westlaw UK or from Thomson Reuters DocDel service.


    • Welfare Reform
    • Benefit sanctions
    • UK Coalition government


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