Work or Want – The Impact of Welfare Changes

Work or Want – The Impact of Welfare Changes

A recent court case in Dundee highlighted the brutality of Ian Duncan Smith’s changes to Social Security systems, in place to protect those in need of assistance. A young mother fled her abusive husband. She asked for assistance at her local social services office only to be told any financial benefits which she might be afforded would not be paid to her for at least 6 weeks. Desperate and needing to feed her children she went to a local supermarket and stole food sufficient for her needs. She was caught and ended up in court. The Sheriff, trying the case, contacted Social Services and was assured no-one would be required to go without food as a result of benefits changes. In summary he said, “this case however was an example of that not having worked. As such there were significant mitigating circumstances allowing the young mother to be admonished”. Increasing use of sanctions against claimants is becoming commonplace, even for the most minor of misdemeanors, (late for an appointment due to a late bus. Is this the Scotland for our families. I think not. We need to care for those less fortunate. Vote, “Yes” in the referendum move Scotland away from the harsh right wing policies that have done so much damage to our society.

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