Benefit reform lets down communities

Citizens Advice Scotland today state that the new Employment Support Allowance is now worse for those dependent on it than the previous incapacity benefit system, with benefits unpaid or paid incorrectly, private firms conducting health checks, increased numbers of appeals and increasing stress, pressure and financial hardship on people who are unable to work due to illness or disability.

SNP Work and Pensions spokesman and Glasgow East MP John Mason said:

“From the start the DWP have been warned that they were going about these reforms in the wrong way.

“It is wrong that people with genuine disability and incapacity should be subject to this kind of mental and financial pressure. The UK Government has approached these reforms in an utterly irresponsible manner.

“That GPs are being overruled by private firms, subcontracted to the DWP to do medical checks is a disgrace.

“As the first step in Labour’s plans for benefit reform this has been a disaster with people facing increased stress, hardship and financial difficulty.”

Glasgow MSP Bill Kidd warned of problems for further changes

“Many single parents across Glasgow and Scotland will be reading today’s report with trepidation.

“The failure to get this change in the system right is reminiscent of the failures over child support and tax credit payments.


“With parents next to be targeted by the government, with benefit cuts used to force parents back into work or face benefit reductions regardless of circumstance the next step of benefit reform looks like a disaster waiting to happen.”

“The DWP’s one size fits all approach is more about cutting its benefits bill than helping those who can work back into employment or allowing parents to support their children.

“Before any further changes are made and anyone else is left in hardship the DWP must listen to Citizens Advice and get this system right.”