Labour MP Comments on the Welfare Vote

  • The parliamentary private secretary, who has resigned following the emergency vote on legislation for the back to work scheme, says there was pressure put on the party to abstain from voting.

    Read the full article at The Guardian, 24th March 2013

    Ian Mearns MP said he voted against the government's jobseekers (back-to-work schemes) bill on Tuesday because he thought the unemployed were already suffering enough from benefit sanction decisions made by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

    The fast-tracked bill, which seeks to overturn the outcome of a court appeal ruling on the Poundland case, is expected to be passed into law early this week.

    It will ensure that the DWP no longer has to pay £130m in benefit sanction rebates to 250,000 jobseekers by retrospectively making lawful regulations deemed unlawful by three senior judges since February.

    Mearns said that after passing through the Commons' no lobby he sent a text to his former boss, the shadow secretary for international development, Ivan Lewis, and the party's chief whip, Rosie Winterton, saying he had resigned.

    He said:

    I was under no illusions that I would be sacked if I voted against the party wishes. So immediately on having gone through the no lobby and having voted against the government bill, I then texted both the chief whip and the shadow secretary of state for international development ... to say, with a heavy heart, I resign.

    Among 43 or 44 Labour MPs who voted [against the bill], I was the one who had the PPS position. But I know a significant amount of pressure was brought to bear on other colleagues in similar positions.

    There were an awful lot of people who were clearly unhappy ... well over half of the parliamentary Labour party were clearly uncomfortable with the position that was taken by the leadership.

    His description of the meeting was confirmed by other MPs who did not want to be named. One Labour source said the shadow chancellor, Ed Balls, had not wanted to lose fiscal credibility on the eve of the budget by being seen to be favouring a £130m payout to benefit claimants.

    Mearns criticised his own shadow frontbench for misunderstanding the nature of the benefit sanctions regime.

    It just seems to me that our frontbench stance is that everybody who's been guilty of some sort of [benefit] infringement and had a sanction against them since 2011 is someone swinging the lead or taking a political stance.

    I really do wish there were that many thousands of people who were willing to take a political stance and lose benefits for the sake of putting a marker down against workfare ... I just don't think that's the case at all.

     

     


Related articles

  • Read More

    SCOTLAND AHEAD OF THE UK ON BUILDING NEW HOMES

    SNP Housing Minister, Kevin Stewart said the following while commenting on Social Security and Equalities in the Scottish Parliament, SCN reports:"These figures demonstrate Scotland's strong...

  • Read More

    HEALTHY DIETS FOR CARE HOMES

    Joanna Cox, a manager of Chandos Lodge, said:"Food is a huge factor in our residents' lives and we want to ensure the meals we provide not only satisfy their tastes but benefit their health."Healthy...

  • Read More

    DO HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE SERVICES NEED INTEGRATION?

    Although, many integration initiatives have been introduced across the NHS; For example, vanguard sites to the prime minister's Challenge Fund and integrated care pioneers- many involving GP...

  • Read More

    LANDLORDS DIVIDED ON HOW TO VOTE IN EU REFERENDUM

    The findings show that landlords are evenly split, with 35% intending to vote leave and 35% intending to vote to remain, reports Housing Excellence.According to Richard Lambert, the NLA's Chief...

  • Read More

    Highest records of working families since 1996

    Research has also shown that parents of young children, who were part of a couple, were almost twice as likely to be in a job. In comparison to older mothers, young mothers under 24 were only half as...

  • Read More

    What percentage of people have mental disorders in the UK?

    Percentage of adults suffering from common mental disorders:Prevalence of common mental disorders:Women (19.7%) are significantly more likely to experience common mental health disorders than men...

  • Read More

    Safe Tweets, safe Twitter

    Twitter is one of the most popular platforms where users across the globe collectively contribute 500 million Tweets every day. However, it can sometimes be inevitable that you come across content...

  • Read More

    Google Creates System to Eradicate Child Abuse Images

    Pressure was on the company to do something about the problem after it emerged that men convicted of murdering Tia Sharp, aged 12, and April Jones, aged 5, had been viewing the indecent images online...

  • Read More

    How Councils Can Improve Home Care

    Read the full article at Community Care.Southwark council has agreed in principle to Unison's ethical home care charter and is working with local providers to find out how they could raise pay ...

  • Read More

    Man Aged 83 is First Reported Assisted Suicide for Dementia

    Reported @ BBC News | Health on 31/5/13He was assessed as mentally competent to make the decision at the centre in Switzerland, as he was only in the first stages of the disease.He did not want to...

Responding to the DWP Consultation:  Housing Benefit Reform - Supported Housing "Sincere thanks to Michael Patterson for an excellent presentation on the HB Reform issues in Leeds last week, and for all the very helpful info and links. I do intend to respond on behalf of our organisation, Caring For Life, but feel that Support Solutions' response is excellent." E.S. - Caring for Life

 

Briefing Signup