Linda Fabiani MSP for East Kilbride, has expressed her concern at recent welfare reforms during a debate in the Scottish Parliament this week, highlighting the findings of a report carried out by Sheffield Hallam University on behalf of the Welfare Reform Committee.
The report titled “The Impact of Welfare Reform on Scotland” highlights the devastating impact of welfare reforms on vulnerable members of society. The report found that the UK Government’s package of welfare reforms will result in a loss of £1.6 billion per year to the Scottish economy with women, one-parent families and disabled people being affected the most.
“The report is very stark. It shows a clear relationship between the financial hit from welfare cuts and the level of deprivation in a community. The intention of the UK Government to increase employment through these reforms is called into question by the report which concludes that the cuts will simply add a further twist to the downward spiral experiences by some communities, entrenching the UK’s already deep income inequalities.
“Our Government is doing what it can, but while welfare remains in the power of the Westminster Government, all we can do is mitigate against the worst effects on vulnerable people. An integrated tax and benefit system in an independent Scotland would be fairer and more sustainable. Therefore, the only way to prevent Tory policies, that people here have not voted for, being inflicted on Scotland is to vote YES in 2014.”
The official report can be found at: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/28862.aspx?r=8083&mode=html#iob_73392
The Sheffield Hallam report can be found at: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/62050.aspx