MSP Joan McAlpine expressed concern after a report showed the region suffering a £25m cut in income by 2020/21 as a result of Tory welfare cuts.
The Scottish Government’s Annual Report on the impacts of the UK Welfare Reform Act 2012, shows that benefit freezes, cuts to work related benefits, tax credits and the bedroom tax means the loss of an equivalent of £282 per person in the region.
The SNP MSP said that these figures shows just how important the Scottish Government’s mitigation measures are – with over £30 million spent in Dumfries and Galloway so far.
Commenting, Ms McAlpine said:
“The figures revealed in last week’s report make for depressing reading. £25 million worth of cuts is a stark figure.
“The SNP Scottish Government is doing all it can to mop up the mess Tory welfare cuts are causing, by mitigating some of the cuts.
“More than £30 million has been spent in the region so far.
“But the Scottish Government should not have to mitigate cuts and policies which the Scottish Parliament has not – would not – vote for. The money for mitigation has to come from other budgets in Scotland, such as health and education.
“The UK Tory government has proven time and time again it cannot be trusted to make these choices on Scotland’s behalf. It must end its failed austerity experiment now, before things get even worse for people and families in the region and across the country.”
Table 7: Reduction in welfare spending from Conservative government measures by 2020/21 by local authority
(taken from http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0052/00521895.pdf )
Financial loss (£ millions):
Work Allowance cuts
Bedroom Tax 2
Dumfries & Galloway