…and apply to all recipients of public funding if the words of Amber Rudd are to be treated with some fairness. Last Thursday she made a statement and included these words “Conditionality and sanctions are an important part of the system, motivating [those who receive the funds] while ensuring the system is fair to the taxpayer.” Now to be accurate she was not focusing on the work of Ministers, MPs or Peers even though they all receive very substantial sums of public money. However in the light of the comments she made and that were read out by Baroness Peta Buscombe in the House of Lords it seems perfectly reasonable that when Ministers, MPs or Peers fail to turn up to meetings at all or on time, or fail to speak up when their constituents deserve them to, or fail to act in a suitable manner then there should be sanctions that have some impact on these people if Amber and Peta believe it is acceptable to use sanctions on people who are struggling to resolve matters and need the state to help them. In the case of those Politicians who fail to engage because they are working on fundraising events for their parties clearly the parties can compensate them for their failure on a professional level!
The statement Amber Rudd made was under the title “Labour Market Policy Update” which was a specific focus on sanctions for people on benefits and specifically Universal Credit. However most employees outside Parliament are held to account if they turn up late or fail to turn up to work so it is not hard to interpret Amber’s words for Politicians:
“Sanctions must be proportionate… The level of a sanction depends on the severity of the [persons] failure to comply with their work-related requirements. Sanctions escalate for subsequent failures, carrying greater penalties. Under current policy, a [person] may receive a three-year sanction the third or subsequent time they have failed to comply with a work-related requirement…. It is important that sanctions remain proportionate to ensure they promote the best outcomes. For this reason, the Department is currently carrying out a further evaluation into the effectiveness of sanctions…. I will consider what other improvements can be made following this and inform the House in due course.”
So when will sanctions begin to be applied to Ministers and MPs along with Peers Amber?