Rally calls for action from MSPs to resist the harm of Tory sanctions
CAMPAIGNERS for a more just social security system rallied outside the Scottish Parliament today [Thursday 27 October] inspired by the message of Ken Loach's new film 'I, Daniel Blake’.
Reform supporters were supported by a cross-party group of MSPs, who gave their support to doing as much as possible to reform the social security system in Scotland when further powers are devolved over the next year.
Wearing film inspired t-shirts, local anti-austerity groups joined together in condemnation of the hundreds of thousands of sanctions enforced by the Tory’s department for work and pensions, which is accused of bullying and exploiting the poor and vulnerable.
Loach’s film depicts a man, Daniel Blake, trying to recovery from a heart attack – who is told he must continue to look for work despite professional health advice.
Campaigners told CommonSpace they saw the film as a direct parallel to their own experiences with the sanction system.
Anna Hutchison spoke to CommonSpace about why she came to the protest, and what she wants to change with the limited powers given to the Scottish Parliament.
MSPs joined campaigners outside the parliament to offer their support.
Delighted to sign "We are all Daniel Blake" poster pic.twitter.com/tIV0A98R1z
— Neil Findlay MSP (@NeilFindlay_MSP) October 27, 2016
Pleased to show my support for an end to cruel sanctions and meet campaigners at @ScotParl today. #IDanielBlake pic.twitter.com/0Ug5uDrXvG
— Monica Lennon (@MonicaLennon7) October 27, 2016
Signing I, Daniel Blake petition against sanctions and welfare work capability tests. pic.twitter.com/d0HpSthob0
— Joan McAlpine (@JoanMcAlpine) October 27, 2016
Last month First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that the new Scottish Social Security agency to prevent the “human misery” of sanctions.
Academic Paul Spicker has argued that there is scope in the 2016 Scotland Act to act on benefits sanctions.
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