Jo backs benefits campaign with Westminster petition

After Jo’s presentation in Parliament, fellow Lib Dem MP John Barrett handed the petition in to 10 Downing St

Jo Swinson has backed a campaign calling for a better deal for people on incapacity benefits.

Jo presented a petition to Parliament on behalf of giveme5, a campaign which calls for the government to give people on incapacity benefits more opportunity to work by increasing their weekly earnings limit from £20 to £25.

Commenting on the campaign, Jo said:

“I’m delighted to support the Richmond Fellowship Scotland by presenting to Parliament this petition, which now has over 3,500 signatures.

“A simple increase of £5 to someone’s weekly earnings and an assurance that it will remain linked to inflation in the future, can make a huge difference to their chances of long-term work and physical and mental wellbeing.”

Giveme5 is managed by people supported by the social care charity, The Richmond Fellowship Scotland.

Following the successful launch of the campaign at the Scottish Parliament in November 2006, campaign workers have encouraged individuals and voluntary organisations throughout the UK to back the campaign by signing the petition.

Permitted earnings is the money people on benefits can earn if they are in receipt of any of the following benefits due to an illness or disability: Incapacity Benefit, Income Support, Council Tax Benefit and Housing Benefit. Although most benefits and allowances have increased with inflation, this figure has stayed the same for more than five years which means that increases in the National Minimum Wage erode the number of hours people can work.

The giveme5 campaign is managed by FOCUS (Freedom of Choice United Services), a separate structure within The Richmond Fellowship Scotland which involves supported individuals in key areas of the work of the organisation.

The Richmond Fellowship Scotland provides high-quality, community-based services for people who require support in their lives. Support services enable more than 2,000 people in 189 separate services across the country to develop and live as independently as possible within their own homes and communities.

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