Moray SNP News
PUBLIC ASKED TO TAKE PART IN MAKING SANCTIONS REGIME “A LITTLE BIT FAIRER”
Moray SNP MP Angus Robertson is encouraging people to respond to the SNP’s consultation on Mhairi Black MP’s Private Member’s Bill which seeks to make the UK Government’s punitive sanctions regime a little bit fairer by establishing a code of conduct.
The bill - which will be debated in the Houses of Commons on December 2nd - would require Jobcentre advisers across the UK to take into account an individual’s circumstances before issuing a sanction and, therefore, cutting off their financial support.
The SNP’s Mhairi Black, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South, was one of 20 MPs whose names were drawn to put forward a Private Members Bill and she has chosen to introduce the Benefit Claimants Sanctions (Required Assessment) Bill 2016-17 to support the many individuals and families who have suffered hardship as a result of an unfair sanction.
The survey is available on the SNP’s website here: http://www.snp.org/tacklingsanctions
Angus Robertson MP said:
“The way in which the Government has administered benefits sanctions has caused hardship for many individuals and families. The SNP has repeatedly called for the system to be administered in a fairer way and that is what my colleague Mhairi Black MP’s bill seeks to do.
“If we could eradicate benefits sanctions entirely so that no-one would have to endure the misery of having their financial support unfairly or suddenly cut off, we would. But unfortunately with the Conservative majority in the House of Commons that route is limited, however the Private Members Bill process presents an opportunity to really make a difference and not to waste the important opportunity by staging a protest.
“Sanctions are when an individual’s support is suddenly withdrawn because one of a number of strict and ludicrous conditions are not met - if, for example, a parent misses an appointment at the Jobcentre because they were at a child’s sick bed it doesn’t matter, they will still have their support withdrawn.
“Evidence shows this leads to increased use of foodbanks, as well as huge amounts of stress on individuals and their families, and that is simply not acceptable.
“The bill will introduce a process of assessing a person’s circumstances such as their caring commitments, whether they are at risk of homelessness or whether they suffer from a mental ill-health condition that could be exacerbated by a sanction.
“However, we know the bill may not be perfect and so we want to hear from people who have been affected by sanctions, from organisations that are supporting people affected or anyone else who wants to comment
“Please use the link to fill out the survey on the SNP’s bill so that together we can make things a little bit fairer for everyone.”