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Renfrewshire Loses Over £2 Million Because Of Tory Welfare Cuts

Paisleys MSP, George Adam Demands Devolution Of Social Security Powers

 

Freedom of Information figures supplied by the Department for Work and Pensions have shown that Renfrewshire has lost out on over £2 Million because of Tory cuts to disability benefit.

 

The information – requested by investigative news outlet The Ferret – shows the number of people who have lost out on social security benefits following the change from Disability Living Allowance to Personal Independence Payments.

 

The Tory welfare cuts – taking a total of £56 million away from communities across Scotland – have hit the poorest people hardest, leaving vulnerable and disabled people across Renfrewshire without enough money to live off.

 

            George Adam MSP

Commenting, George said:

 

“It is absolutely devastating that Tory welfare cuts have taken over £2 million out of our communities.

 

“This really hits home at how disastrous these cuts have been for people across Renfrewshire – robbing our society and vulnerable people of the money they were entitled to until the Tories decided that they no longer were.

 

“It is shameful that those most in need of support in Scotland have lost over £56 million under this cruel Tory regime.

 

“While the Scottish Government is busy setting up a new social security agency with dignity and respect at its heart, figures such as these continue to emerge showing just how damaging Tory welfare cuts are for Renfrewshire.

 

“Only with full powers over social security can Scotland treat all those in need of support with the respect they deserve, not the cruelty they face under a toxic Tory government.”

 

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

Paisley’s MSP Welcomes Charities Social Advice Service

George Adam MSP is urging deaf in Paisley who have queries about benefits decisions to use a charity’s welfare rights advocacy service.

 

The service, which is run by the charity Action on Hearing Loss Scotland, can provide people who are Deaf or have hearing loss – including British Sign Language (BSL) users – with information, advice and, where possible, formal representation to challenge benefits decisions.

 

George Adam MSP said: “I’m pleased to support Action on Hearing Loss Scotland’s welfare rights advocacy service which provides valuable advice and reassurance for deaf or hard of hearing people who are concerned or confused about their social security benefits.

 

“I encourage people in Paisley who are Deaf or have hearing loss to contact the service if you would like to be better informed about the support you may be entitled to.”

George alongside Eileen, Director of Action on Hearing Loss

Eileen Clarkson, Director of Action on Hearing Loss Scotland and George Adam, Paisley’s MSP.

 

Delia Henry, Director of Action on Hearing Loss Scotland, said: “We’re delighted to have George Adam MSP’s backing for our welfare rights advocacy service which is making a real difference to the everyday lives of deaf people trying to access Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in particular.

 

“If you are Deaf or have hearing loss and need some help to understand letters you have received regarding your benefits, our Welfare Rights Officer would be delighted to help you make sense of it all.”

 

For information about Action on Hearing Loss Scotland’s social security advice service, call telephone: 0141 341 5346, textphone: 0141 341 5350, email: SocialSecurity@hearingloss.org.uk or visit www.hearingloss.org.uk/SocialSecurity.  British Sign Language users can contact via the ContactSCOTLAND-BSL service

Minister Denies Google Maps Jobcentres Bungle

A CABINET minister has denied that the DWP used google maps to identify jobcentres for closure in Glasgow, despite officials admitting it on more than one occasion.
Damian Green, work and Pensions Secretary told MP and MSPs that was not how the department operated and agreed it was not the right way to do business.

Mr Green was giving evidence to a special joint session of the Westminster and Holyrood Social Security committees in the House of Commons.

He was quizzed over the plans to shut half of Glasgow’s jobcentres and was asked about using google maps.

 

Damian Green being presented with a signed I, Daniel Blake book by George

Damian Green being presented with a signed I, Daniel Blake book by George

 

 

George Adam, Paisley SNP MSP asked about DWP officials using google maps to determine which offices should close and which remain open.

He said: “Surely that’s not the right way to do business?”

Mr Green replied: “It’s not and we don’t do it that way.”

 

 

However Denise Horsfall, Scotland work Director for the DWP who is in charge of the process to shut Jobcentres in Glasgow previously admitted they did.
She said in January in an interview with the Evening Times, when asked if the routes between centres had been tested by staff in person, Ms Horsfall said: “I would love to say I sent my team out but they have got other work to do. I did use maps and the traveline website.”

The House of Commons library also records Ms Horsfall and Neil Couling a fellow official in giving evidence to the Scottish Parliament social security committee stating: “In determining travelling distances, DWP had used Traveline and Google Maps.”

 

Mr Green was also challenged on the justifications given by the DWP for closing eight Jobcentres in the Glasgow area.JobCentre_778x436

Pauline McNeill, Glasgow Labour MSP, asked Mr Green about his comments that more people were using services online and told him that the situation in Glasgow was not the same as in other cities.

She said: “Glasgow is one of the poorest cities in the UK with huge pockets of deprivation.

“One in four people do not have access to the internet. You cannot compare Glasgow to cities like Leeds without looking at levels of poverty.”

Rutherglen SNP MP, Margaret Ferrier, had told the Secretary of State, that Glasgow was being treated disproportionately with 50% of centres being closed compared to 20% across the UK.

Mr Green said that there was too much unused space and the tax payer had to get better value for money.”

The plan is for seven of the 14 Glasogw Jobcentres to close and also for Cambuslang to shut and services moved to Rutherglen.

The Evening Times Hands off Our Jobcentres campaign has called for the plans to be halted and Jobcentres to be retained in the communities where they are needed most. the campaign has attracted widespread support across political parties and from churches and trade unions.

 

_92246155_cwvfyd4wiaafwduI, Daniel Blake film director, Ken Loach also supported our call to stop the closures.

Mr Green said that the proposals for Glasgow were still under consideration.

He said: There is a consultation going on. We haven’t yet come to a final conclusion of what we are going to do in Glasgow. I would ask everyone to be patient.”

 

Evening Times – 21/03/17 – Stewart Paterson, Political Correspondent

George Adam MSP Backs Disability Alliance’s Call For Measures To Reduce Stigma And Discrimination

 

 

George Adam MSP is backing Disability Agenda Scotland’s call to raise awareness about the positive contributions of disabled people and help to end the stigma and discrimination which are still experienced.

 

Following the publication of DAS’s Equal? Still not, why not?

 

Pic Greg Macvean - 23/11/2016 - 07971 826 457 Disability Agenda Scotland (DAS) event at the Scottish Parliament

Pic Greg Macvean – 23/11/2016 – 07971 826 457
Disability Agenda Scotland (DAS) event at the Scottish Parliament

report this week which details the experiences of more than 80 people who live with a variety of disabilities, the alliance is also calling for action to ensure greater support and opportunities for disabled people.

 

DAS wants to see a concerted effort by the Scottish Government, UK Government, local authorities and other bodies to reduce the disability employment gap by improving the ways employment services work, as well as effective coordination to ensure the new social security systems are underpinned by a commitment to human rights, dignity and respect.

 

Representatives from DAS, an alliance of Scotland’s six major disability charities Action on Hearing Loss Scotland, Capability Scotland, ENABLE Scotland, RNIB Scotland, SAMH and Sense Scotland; highlighted during an event in the Scottish Parliament that disabled people continue to feel they are not equal citizens in Scottish society and more needs to be done to improve their life opportunities.

 

George Adam MSP said: “I’m pleased to support DAS’s call for the many positive contributions of disabled people in our communities to be highlighted. I also want more to do be done to eradicate remaining barriers to enable people with a disability in Paisley to have equal access to all public transport, services and get any person-centred support that is needed to ensure they can take up everyday opportunities like everyone else.” Delia Henry, Chair of DAS, said: “We appreciate George Adam MSP’s support and recognition that more needs to be done to support disabled people to fulfil their personal career and life aspirations, reduce isolation and end the stigma of disability so that they begin to feel like equal members of society.”

 

For a copy of DAS’s Equal? Still not, why not? report, visit www.disabilityagenda.scot or email: layla@disabilityagenda.scot