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New Group aims to investigate Scotland's broken welfare system

8 Dec 2014

Senior figures from civic Scotland will meet in Glasgow Monday 8th December to launch a new group which aims to examine the impact of welfare reforms on Scotland, and bring forward proposals to fix the system.

The Scottish Leaders Welfare and Benefits Group (SLWG) includes leaders from Scotland’s churches, Trade Unions, Local Authorities and voluntary sector. They are today launching  their work by meeting in a Citizens Advice Bureau and then a foodbank to talk to citizens and charity workers who are in the front line of battling the impact of welfare austerity in Scotland. 

Speaking on behalf of the group, its Chairman Lord McFall says,

“The overall aim of this group is to work collaboratively to highlight and respond to the impact of recent changes to the welfare and benefits system on the people, services, and communities of Scotland, especially vulnerable people or groups.  

 “The SLWG will use its collective voice to provide witness to the impact of welfare changes and will challenge government policy and practice where we believe these have a negative impact and result in deprivation.

 “The group will highlight the responsibility of all levels of government and other interested stakeholders to pursue policies and practices which enable people to live a dignified life.”

 The SLWG includes:

·      Father Thomas Boyle, Assistant General Secretary, Bishops’ Conference of Scotland.

·      Ronnie Convery, Director of Communications, Archdiocese of Glasgow.

·       Sally Foster Fulton, Convener of the Church and Society Council of the Church of Scotland

·       Barbara Lindsay, Deputy Chief Executive, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities

·       Lord McFall of Alcluith, Chair of the Group (will take the lead in giving interviews).

·       Cllr David O’Neill, President, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities.

·       Grahame Smith, Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) General Secretary

 Margaret Lynch, Chief Executive, Citizens Advice Scotland provides the secretariat.

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