The welfare changes announced in today’s Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) will mean more misery for vulnerable Scots, according to Citizens Advice Scotland.
CAS Head of Policy Susan McPhee says,
“CAB advisers across Scotland have been reporting for years now how the government’s welfare reforms have been hitting the most vulnerable people in Scotland, pushing many of them into poverty and debt. The people who have been hit hardest are those who are least able to cope, including sick and disabled people, families with young children and those who were already on very low incomes. Such people may have thought that things couldn’t get any worse. But they just have.
“The Chancellor today announced a whole new raft of conditions and sanctions for unemployed people – ignoring the fact that there are still not enough jobs for people to apply for. Forcing people to attend the jobcentre more regularly will not help them find work. All it will do is put even more strain on the system, which our evidence shows is already failing to meet jobseekers’ needs.
“Single parents will now have to look for work when their child is just three years old, with no indication of how they will meet childcare costs. People who become unemployed will now have to wait a week before they can claim – with no indication of how they should feed and heat themselves in that ‘gap’ week. All claimants are now to be required to be fully online and with access to a computer before they can claim, despite the fact that a recent CAS report showed that 76% of Scottish benefit claimants are not in this position.1
“The new cap on overall welfare spending is also very worrying. What happens to those who apply after all the money has run out? We’re already seeing an increase in the number of people who rely on foodbanks and short-term loans. With these changes, we fear those numbers are set to grow even more.
“The government is forcing the most vulnerable people in society to take the hit for their own failures. The Chancellor shows today that he has no understanding of how people live in the real world. These changes will mean yet more misery for vulnerable families across Scotland.”
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