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35,000 Scots have lost benefits after welfare cuts

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been critical of the UK government's welfare reforms. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been critical of the UK government's welfare reforms. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

  • by SCOTT MACNAB
 

About 35,000 Scots have had their benefits stopped or reduced in the past nine months as a result of welfare cuts, it emerged today.

But many are unable to work, a Scottish Government report has found, despite benefits chiefs ruling they haven’t done enough to find a job.

It is those with health problems, those lacking work experience, and lone parents who are disproportionately affected.

One in eight could see their benefits stopped for up to three years, because they incur the highest form of sanction.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Some of the most vulnerable Scots are having their benefits stopped because they are simply not able to meet the conditions set by the UK Government.

“This may help explain why so many more people are being forced to use food banks.”

More than 20,000 Scots have used food banks in the six months to September, figures released this week have shown.

“This is another demonstration of why we need a Scottish welfare system based on clear principles of fairness and dignity,” Ms Sturgeon added.

“Scotland’s system would support people who work while also providing support for people who cannot work, protect people from poverty, and help them fulfil their potential, in work and in life.”

The Scottish Government has appointed an Expert Working Group on Welfare which considering the issue and is set to report in the New Year.

 

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