Rudd urged to make benefits system more humane for Christmas

An MP has urged the work and pensions secretary, Amber Rudd, to make the benefits system more humane over Christmas by reinstating a long-standing £10 extra payout and returning to a previous pause on sanctioning claimants over the festive period.

The SNP’s Hannah Bardell said Rudd, who pledged last week to make sure the social security system helped people when they most needed it, should act on her words and do the “decent and right thing”.

She also demanded a reinstatement of a traditional pause over the festive period of sanctioning claimants, in which their payments are docked or stopped as punishment for alleged failures to comply with jobcentre rules.