Margaret Burgess MSP has revealed that figures obtained by the SNP have found a “staggering increase” in the number of people being hit by benefit sanctions imposed by the UK Government’s Department for Work & Pensions.
The MSP for the local constituency of Cunninghame South
said, “Those hit by sanctions can have their benefits taken away for a
fixed period of anything from a week to three years.
figures show that lone parents have been hit the hardest, with a
staggering 563 percent increase in sanctions since 2009. There has also
been a 65 percent increase in the number of disabled people being
sanctioned and a 76 percent increase in women having their benefits
Mrs Burgess, also the SNP Scottish Government’s
Minister for Housing & Welfare, said she is worried lone parents are
the hardest hit group, saying, “This sets alarm bells ringing about the
impact of the policy on children in North Ayrshire and across Scotland.
already have analysis from the Child Poverty Action Group showing that
100,000 more children in Scotland face being pushed into poverty by
“The 65 percent increase in disabled people being hit is
also cause for major concern. A welfare system should be supporting and
empowering people with disabilities, not making life more difficult for
Mrs Burgess blasted the Tory-led UK Government, noting,
“In the week when David Cameron promotes a few more female Tory MPs,
supposedly to show his party’s commitment to equality for women, these
figures give the game away: in the real world women are bearing the
brunt with 69 percent of welfare cuts falling on them.
of Westminster’s failure on welfare grows by the day, with a four-fold
increase in the number of people relying on foodbanks as a result of the
UK obsession with dismantling the welfare state.
Government continues to do what it can to mitigate the impact of welfare
cuts, but with the full powers of independence we could do so much
more. In an independent Scotland we can build a welfare state that
empowers people, tackling poverty and helping to bring about the fairer
Scotland we all want to see.”