Geroge Adam MSP

My Constituent Was Sanctioned For A Heart Attack!

DWP Boss Ignoring Real Life Impacts Of Tory Policies

DWP boss Esther McVey today struggled through a Holyrood committee meeting as the real life impact of Tory welfare policies was laid bare.


SNP MSP George Adam raised the case of a constituent who had been sanctioned after suffering a heart attack – but was met with a brick wall as Ms McVey insisted the system was working.


After Ms McVey said that Universal Credit was fit for purpose, Mr Adam told her “with the greatest respect, that’s completely devoid from the real world.”


He continued: “In my constituency, I’ve got people who’ve been suffering constantly because of the roll-out. We’re not even a full roll-out area.


“What about people like my constituent, who ended up getting sanctioned because he had a heart attack and was in the Royal Alexandria Hospital?”


Commenting, George Adam said:


“That was like speaking to a brick wall – despite the overwhelming evidence of the negative impact of the Tory welfare agenda, Esther McVey just insisted that all was well.


“The fact is, the botched Universal Credit roll-out is having a devastating impact on many across the country – and that’s just the latest in a long line of Tory welfare cuts.


“With our limited powers over welfare, we’re building a Scottish social security agency with dignity and respect at its heart – and we’ve refused to use the discredited sanctions regime in our new employability service.


“But the extent of Westminster cuts to the welfare state show why we need full powers over social security in Scotland – not in the hands of the Tories

New Report Shows Sanctions Could Double Under Tory Plans

The SNP is today repeating its call for an immediate moratorium on sanctions and for full powers over social security to be transferred to Scotland – after further ‘heartbreaking’ evidence of the impact of the UK Government’s sanctions regime.George Serious Paisley Town Hall

As reported in today’s Daily Record, a Fife man found himself sanctioned after missing a Jobcentre appointment – despite the fact that he was in hospital recovering from emergency surgery after a major heart attack.

Today’s report comes as the New Policy Institute think-tank warns that the levels of sanctions imposed could double with the roll out of the Tory’s Universal Credit policy – increasing by as much as an extra 600,000.

Commenting, Paisley’s MSP George Adam said, “I find these reports heartbreaking. This is yet further evidence that the Tory government’s austerity policies are not working and forcing the most vulnerable in society to live without money after being sanctioned for often the most ridiculous of reasons.

“And the idea that the imposition of these cruel, punitive sanctions could in fact double as the Tories’ Universal Credit is rolled out is deeply worrying – and shows the need for urgent action.

“I had a young man attend my office. He was sanctioned for taking an unsanctioned holiday. The ‘holiday’ was in fact a two day trip to Aberdeen to seek employment in the oil industry. He walked around the granite city for 2 days handing in CVs and he slept on a relatives couch. He was actively looking for work, however on his return, he was told he has taken an unsanctioned holiday and his benefits were stopped.

“The SNP has already been clear that there needs to be an immediate review of the UK Government’s conditionality and sanctions regime – and the DWP should not be allowed to impose any more unfair sanctions on vulnerable people while the review is ongoing.

“But more than that, we need the powers to put a stop to this relentless assault on vulnerable people – and to design a new and better system which supports and empowers people who need help rather than punishing them as this Tory government seems intent on doing.

“The Tories have shown time and time again that they can’t be trusted to take decisions on social security on Scotland’s behalf – and it’s time that these crucial powers are in Scotland’s hands, rather than Iain Duncan Smith’s.”

George Looks Towards Fairer Welfare System in an Independent Scotland

George Adam MSPPaisley’s MSP George Adam has joined Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in slamming the Tory UK Government for the increased amount of benefit sanctions being handed out to job seekers. While asking a question of the Deputy First Minister about how we would reform welfare in an independent Scotland, George went on to ask if she shared his concerns about the current changes to the welfare system.

Commenting George said, “The Deputy First Minster rightly pointed out that we want a welfare system in an independent Scotland that is fair and does everything possible to help people into work but which also provides a decent, civilised safety net for people when they need it. I do not want this current system which is making an ever increasing number of my constituents come to me for help and advice after they have had their benefits sanctioned. This is no coincidence, the increase in the number of sanctions if not happening for no reason, it’s happening as a result of the Westminster dogma to cut back on welfare spending, no matter the cost to real people with real families to support and real bills to pay.

‘I have had constituents come to my office after having their benefits sanctioned and they have not even been told what for. They then need to wait weeks after submitting an appeal to find out, no surprise here, that the appeal has been rejected. This leaves them with no money what so ever or having to reply on hardship payments. One of the most staggering things I have noticed is that the DWP staff seem to be getting told from on high to push people towards food banks. The reason food banks are on the rise is due to, among other things, benefit sanctions. Isn’t it perverse that the rise in use of food banks is being used by the UK Government as almost an alternative to getting Job Seekers Allowance?

‘I’ve had more than one constituent come and tell me that they have had their benefit sanctioned because they attended a job interview instead of signing on. I’ve had people not able to afford to go to job interviews because they have no money to get there or to buy the shirt and trousers that they need to feel presentable when attending interviews.

‘The vast majority of people on Job Seekers Allowance understand they have to look for employment to gain their benefit, however the Tories seem to be looking for every and any way to hinder instead of help people into work. Scotland is a rich country; we should not be treating our citizens in such a way. We can and will do a better job with the full powers of independence.”