The Scottish Government has spent almost £400 million in the past four years to mitigate UK welfare cuts, figures show
Research by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre for the SNP shows £393.6 million has so far been spent on welfare mitigation measures between 2015/16 and 2018/19.
The money includes discretionary housing payments, used to mitigate the so-called bedroom tax, the Scottish Welfare Fund, which provides crisis and community care grants, and Fairer Scotland funding.
Research by the Government estimates the annual UK social security spend in Scotland will have reduced by £3.9 billion by 2020/21.
SNP MSP Clare Adamson, who chairs Holyrood’s Social Security Committee, said: “Despite continued cuts to Scotland’s budget, over the past four years the SNP Scottish Government has spent nearly £400 million plugging the gaps created by Tory austerity to try to keep people in Scotland from further hardship.
“In that time, Tory cuts have driven up the number of food bank parcels distributed in Scotland by nearly 30%, and this year alone it’s estimated that Tory cuts will leave 3.1 million children with working parents below the official breadline across the UK.
“It is totally unacceptable that in 2018 people are finding themselves in these situations through absolutely no fault of their own.
“With our limited powers over welfare in Scotland we are building a social security system with dignity and respect at its heart - but as long as the Tory Government in Westminster persists with such damaging, callous welfare policies, Scotland will be tackling poverty with one hand tied behind our backs.”
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