Figures revealing that there has been a 209% increase in the number of benefit sanctions since 2006 have been described as a shocking demonstration of Westminster’s determination to penalise the least well off in society.
The figures show that the number of cases where a decision to sanction somebody’s benefits was made has more than tripled from 25,953 in 2006 to 80,305 in 2013. In that time, the single largest increase took place between 2012 and 2013, where there was an increase of 15,463 benefit sanctions in a single year.
The revelation of these figures comes just days after Inclusion Scotland’s Bill Scott blasted Westminster’s approach to benefits sanctions as “a crime against humanity”.
Commenting Paisley’s MSP George Adam said,
“What’s going on here? 209% increase in sanctions to our least well off? My office has been inundated with job seekers who for numerous, and questionable reason, have been sanctioned for anything up to 2 years. I had a constituent come to me who was sanctioned for not declaring he was going all the way to Aberdeen for two days to look for work.
“The strong words earlier this week from Bill Scott were a demonstration of the deep frustration at the damage that Westminster’s callous Welfare cuts are causing. The unholy alliance of Labour, Tories and Lib Dems can no longer perpetuate the myth that we are better and all in this together. Let’s remember, these sanctions are part of a wider ideological driven policy by the Tories to cut a further £12bn from the welfare budget.
“This is part of the Chancellors benefit cap, fully supported by his Labour allies. This is a Cabinet with a report personal wealth of around £70m, who make decisions about capping benefits for those on the lowest incomes. Better together?
“The anniversaries of the introduction of the Poll Tax and Bedroom Tax have brought home to people just how damaging Westminster’s decisions have been for Scotland.
“With a Yes vote in September we can tailor a welfare system to meet the needs of the people of Scotland and helps people into work.”