Social Security

Part of Rail Update – in the House of Commons at 6:53 pm on 5th February 2018.

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Photo of David Linden David Linden SNP Whip 6:53 pm, 5th February 2018

It was the former Chancellor, so I think that it is Tatton. He now edits the Evening Standard, but it was not so long ago that Conservative Members were charging away behind him and saying how wonderful he was. [Interruption.] I will make some progress with my speech while Conservative Members chunter away.

I rise to express my profound disappointment at the UK Government’s continued obsession with the punitive benefit freeze. As a constituency MP, I am acutely aware that a clear majority of the people I speak to in my surgeries on a Friday do not choose to be on benefits. Circumstances largely dictate that. Broadly speaking, people end up receiving state support because they are disabled, sick or out of work. Contrary to what some right-wing newspapers print, being on benefits does not constitute a life of luxury. If people outside this House or Conservative Members genuinely believe that, they ought to go and study the Trussell Trust’s annual statistics, which show that the top three reasons people use foodbanks are changes or delays in benefits, low income at work and insecure employment. The charge for all three falls squarely at the door of this Tory Government.