Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News



Moray’s MP Angus Robertson has pointed to figures showing that thousands of children are paying the price for benefit sanctions and has branded the situation as ‘grossly unfair’.

Folowing a Freedom of Information request lodged by Church Action on Poverty it was found that 3,600 households with dependent children in Scotland were affected by sanctions between June 2012 and May 2013, with at least 6,460 children affected.

Based on these figures, further research by the Scottish Parliament’s Information Centre now estimates that between October 2013 and September 2014, a further 3,023 households with dependent children could have been affected by an adverse Job Seekers Allowance or Employment Support Allowance sanction.

Despite having previously answered an FoI detailing the number of households with children affected by welfare sanctions between June 2012 and May 2013, the DWP is now claiming figures are not available.

Commenting, Moray’s MP Angus Robertson said:

“These figures collated by Church Action on Poverty and new research by the Scottish Parliament shows that thousands of children are continuing to pay the price for welfare sanctions.

“I continue to see cases in my Moray Constituency Office where people who are clearly in need of urgent support are struggling to get the help they need.

“This is principally as a result of the cuts to the welfare system under the current UK Government, which is hitting the low income families and and sick and disabled the hardest.

“Children cannot possibly be held responsible for whether their parents are sanctioned or not, but as things stand thousands of them are paying the price.

“It is just another example of a sanctions regime that time after time has shown itself to be grossly unfair.

“There must be an independent inquiry into Westminster’s sanctions regime that seems to be running out of control and the SNP will continue to press that case.

“Westminster’s complacent attitude to the savage welfare cuts that are inflicting such hardship on so many people underlines why we need the opportunity to make our own welfare decisions in Scotland – and electing a strong team of SNP MPs in May will help us gain that responsibility.”