MP Stuart McDonald has been speaking out about a failed Parliamentary bid to get rid of the Government’s benefits sanctions system.
Mr McDonald had backed his fellow Scottish Nationalist MP Mhari Black’s bid to end the regime.
Local figures recorded in the Commons Library state that that the new cuts affected 391 benefits claimants in this constituency between January 2015 and June 2016.
However, the bill failed to reach the next stage in Parliament after it failed to pick up the support of the 100 members needed to progress to its crucial next stage.
Mr McDonald said: “This bill had the chance to reform the UK Government’s cruel and unfair sanctions regime and I am deeply disappointed that it did not receive the support it needed.
“I know how many people in my own constituency have suffered as a result of these sanctions, many through no fault of their own, and this is a lost opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of my constituents who have been hit hardest by the UK Government’s policy”
Miss Black, who is the youngest MP in the House of Commons, said: “I am very disappointed. Sanctions hit people, they hit real people. They are not statistics, they are human beings who are struggling and they are suffering, all due to the actions of the UK Government.
“With this bill Parliament had a real opportunity to make a difference and stop some of the misery and hardship caused by sanctions – sadly this opportunity was wasted.”
The controversial cuts were the subject of the recent Ken Loach Film ‘I, Daniel Blake’ which unsparingly highlighted the knock-on effects of the measures on a group of vulnerable people in Newcastle (pictured)