Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of national charity Citizens Advice, said:
"News of Jobcentre targets for sanctions is alarming and probably explains a doubling of the number of people contacting us about sanctions regarding Jobseeker's Allowance since last year.
"The only target for staff in Jobcentres should be to get it right and make sure people understand what they have to do and what will happen if they don't.
"People we see are utterly confused and can end up losing the money they reply upon to live, stopped - without warning or understanding why."
Did you know:
Citizens Advice Bureaux saw problems with sanctions increase by 10% in Q1 2012, 26% in Q2 2012 and 45% in Q3 2012 and issues around Jobseeker's Allowance up by 1% overall.
We dealt with 9,244 problems about job seekers allowance sanctions and hardship payments in 2012.
We saw 45% more issues with JSA sanctions and hardship payments in Oct-Dec 2012 compared with the same time the previous year.
Advice by phone is available from all Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB). In addition, we are in the process of developing a national phone service. It will become available in different parts of the UK over the next two years.
It is now fully operational in Wales, but only for people who live or work there. In England the service is currently being rolled out area by area. If it is not yet available in your area, you will hear options for recorded information:
for Wales call 08444 77 20 20
for England call 08444 111 444 or check your local bureau's contact details via the search box below
TextRelay users should call 08444 111 445
Calls to our national phone service (0844 numbers) will be charged at five pence per minute from a BT landline and may cost considerably more from mobile and other phones. Why we use 0844 numbers