In the forthcoming Scotland Act (2016), The Scottish Parliament will be granted new powers to find people work and training.
The devolution of Employment Services to Scotland gives the Scottish Government the opportunity to create an employment service system with dignity and respect at its core.
Currently, under the Conservative Government, the use of welfare sanctions has increased dramatically. These sanctions have been shown impact hardest on those who need it most – the sick, the long-term unemployed and the disabled.
Commenting in the debate, Christina said:
“I am proud that this Scottish Government is showing real vision, real commitment and determination to better link up employability with employment.
“Scotland can do more. We can do it differently. We can provide effective employment support for physically disabled people, those with special needs, mental health issues, young people leaving care and people who have fallen through the care net for example”
“I do not believe that threats, sanctions, enforced work schemes and the like represent the route towards bringing people into work. The conditionality regime hits the most vulnerable with vicious sanctions.
“The whole regime is based on punishment. Turned up five minutes late for a Job Centre interview because your child needed the toilet and you can find yourself with no benefits for a fortnight.
“If we want families and communities that work, then we must give them the chance to do just that. Throughout my time in this Chamber and beyond, I will always fight for an end to inequality and for decent, dignified lives, whether in work or out of work”