South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck has been elected to a new position which will enable her to monitor the Government’s £12billion of planned welfare cuts.
She is to serve on the House of Commons’ Work and Pensions Select Committee, the cross-party group of MPs which scrutinises such areas as welfare, employment and pensions.
Mrs Lewell-Buck was elected to fill one of the three Labour seats on the committee.
She has previously worked closely with the committee’s chairman, Frank Field MP, on the All-Party Inquiry on Hunger and Food Poverty.
That inquiry’s report noted that welfare reform and benefit delays were two of the major contributors to food poverty, and called for changes to benefits administration and rules on sanctions.
Mrs Lewell-Buck said: “I’m delighted to have been chosen to serve on the Work and Pensions Committee. Welfare reform is going to be just as big an issue in this Parliament as it was in the last, and I am very concerned about the effect that the £12 billion of cuts the Tories are proposing will have on vulnerable people.
“The committee plays a very important role in holding the Government to account, and I’m pleased that I will get to be part of that work.
“Benefit delays and harsh sanctions have made life very tough for vulnerable people over the last five years, and in South Shields we’ve seen the impact more than most.
“I want to use my seat on the Committee to stand up to attempts to dismantle our social safety net, which keeps people who fall on hard times from ending up in severe poverty.”