Benefits claimants should be banned from spending their state handouts on cigarettes and booze, a West Yorkshire MP has claimed.
Elmet and Rothwell's MP Alec Shelbrooke said those receiving payments should be given a welfare card which would work like a debit card. But it would not work if claimants tried to use it buy alcohol and cigarettes, he said.
Speaking in the Commons, the Conservative MP claimed his Welfare Cash Card Bill would "encourage responsible spending" among claimants, adding it would ensure taxpayers' money was spent "wisely" and "for the purpose for which it was intended".
The Bill did not receive cross-party support. But MPs did not prevent Mr Shelbrooke from introducing the Bill on the floor of the Commons. It is unlikely to make further progress, however, due to lack of parliamentary time.