MP in benefits debate
Date published: 19 February 2014
OLDHAM East and Saddleworth MP Debbie Abrahams appeared on Newsnight to discuss sanctions on benefit claimants this week.
The Labour MP used Oldham examples and stories of her constituents when discussing the problems jobseekers face. She told the BBC show: “I had one constituent who had done everything required of him in terms of job-seeking. He’d turned up and was applying for loads of jobs. He was still sanctioned.
“We have considerable evidence, not just from me, to show the sanctions are inappropriate.
Mrs Abrahams agreed that sanctions were an “important principle”, but that they should be a “last resort”.
After the programme Mrs Abrahams added: “No-one is arguing with the fact that anyone who is on benefits should do all they can to find appropriate work.
“But this government has gone beyond the pale by using underhand tactics and creating a culture in which Jobcentre Plus advisers are expected to sanction claimants to manipulate unemployment data.”
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