SNP hit out at welfare sanctions

Fresh concerns over the impact of changes to the welfare system have been raised by the SNP after figures showed significant rises in the number of disabled people, women, lone parents and young people facing benefit sanctions.

Loading Comments
Share
Print

Statistics from the UK Government's Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) show a 65% rise in the number of disabled people receiving sanctions for jobseeker's allowance between 2009 and 2013.

The number increased from just over 8,000 in 2009, to 11,616 in 2012 when the Government introduced its new sanctions regime, and then rose again to 13,128 in 2013.

There was also a 76% increase in the number of women being sanctioned, rising from 7,914 in 2009 to 13,993 in 2013.

Elsewhere there was a 563% rise in the number of lone parents sanctioned, increasing from 476 in 2009 to 3,157 in 2013.

Sanctions - the loss of some or all welfare payments - can be imposed when a recipient does not comply with the rules, such as failing to attend an interview.

SNP MSP Kevin Stewart said: "These figures show a staggering increase in the number of people being hit by Westminster's deeply unfair benefit sanctions.

"The welfare system should be supporting and empowering people with disabilities, not making life more difficult for them.

"Women already bear the brunt of welfare cuts, with 69% of planned cuts falling on them - these figures show that despite David Cameron's attempts to appear to be taking action on equality, the number of women being sanctioned is up by three quarters.

"The Scottish Government is doing what it can to mitigate the impact of welfare cuts, but with the full powers of independence we could do so much more."

A spokesman for the DWP said: "The fact is that every day, Jobcentre Plus advisers are successfully helping people off benefits and into work so they can secure their future and we have seen that in the last year alone, employment in Scotland is up 76,000.

"Sanctions are only used as a last resort, but it's only right that people claiming benefits should do everything they can to find work, if they are able. We make it clear to people at the start of their claim what the rules are and that they risk losing their benefits if they don't play by them.

"The benefits system is there as a safety net for people at times of need and supports millions of people who are on low incomes or unemployed. People who are in genuine need can apply for hardship payments. If someone disagrees with a decision made on their claim, they can appeal."

Local government

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on Evening Times on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

171658

Have you got a story?

Contact the news desk on 0141 302 6520 or email news@eveningtimes.co.uk
A weekly round up of social highlights

A weekly round up of social highlights

Cat's Eyes on Glasgow

SPOTY, Cinderella at the SECC and festive things to do.

Times Out

Entertainment

Lifestyle

TV Advert
Gail’s Gab

Gail’s Gab

Gail Sheridan is a mother-of-one and wife to Tommy and she likes to get political with the hot topic of the week in her column Gail’s Gab.

Michelle McManus

Michelle McManus

Sussed in the City

What a year for me...it’s a wonderful life!

Janice Bell

Janice Bell

You couldn’t make up half the stuff that happens to PA Janice Bell- some of the jams she gets herself into are worth a story or two.