Welfare cuts ‘intolerable’ – Sturgeon
The true impact of the UK Government’s benefit reforms have been revealed by a new Scottish Government analysis that shows people in Scotland could be hit with a cut of £4.5 billion in the five years to 2014-15 – £2 billion more than the UK Government originally claimed.
The report also estimates that £1 billion of the welfare cuts will have a direct impact on children living in Scotland – a situation Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today described as “intolerable”.
Ms Sturgeon (pictured below) said: “The Scottish Government’s analysis we are publishing today suggests that the true scale of the cuts on Scottish households as part of the UK Government’s welfare reforms could be much greater than previously anticipated. In 2011, the Department for Work and Pensions claimed Scotland’s benefits bill would be reduced by £2.5 billion by 2014-15. We believe that today’s new analysis shows this to be a huge underestimation, with hard working families and children among those being hit with a reduction in benefits that may will actually reach over £4.5 billion. The UK Government must urgently clarify the true scale of the impact in Scotland.
“These unfair cuts to the welfare system have been imposed on Scotland and will hit a million working age households in Scotland, weakening consumer demand and damaging economic growth. The fact that around £1 billion of the welfare cuts will directly impact on children in Scotland is particularly worrying – it is an intolerable situation that represents a devastating blow to the hard working people of Scotland.
“Our vision of an independent Scotland, is one where the welfare system will reflect our nation’s values and provide fair and decent support for those who need it most. It will encourage those people who can – and should work – into work. But it will also support people who are unable to work, allowing them to play a full and active part in society, and it will tackle poverty where this exists. It is clear that the UK Government’s agenda is completely at odds with the aspirations we have for our country. With every day the case for independence becomes even more compelling.”