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Jobseeker's Allowance (Claimant Sanctions)

Volume 563: debated on Monday 20 May 2013

Sanctions have played a key role in ensuring that jobseekers meet their commitments to the taxpayer in return for jobseeker’s allowance, and 40% of claimants say that they are more likely to look for work due to the threat of a sanction.

In my constituency, the number of jobless people chasing each vacancy is more than double the national average, yet my local citizens advice bureau informs me that there has been an increase in the number of people who have been to see it who have been kicked off benefits because of sanctions. When will the Government—more specifically, the Tories—stop demonising the unemployed for not having a job, and when will they stop this relentless war against the poor?

I point out to the hon. Gentleman that there are people in his constituency who are paying their taxes and working, and who expect jobseekers to do all they can to look for work, so that they can look after themselves and their families. That is the contract that underpins the welfare state—the contract that the previous Government signed up to; I am surprised that he seems to be backing away from that.