The Tory government’s benefit sanctions are forcing tens of thousands of families across Scotland into destitution, the SNP has warned, after figures revealed the amount clawed back by the DWP through sanctions.
The figures, obtained by the SNP’s Chris Stephens MP from the DWP, show that in August 2022 alone the DWP took £2.3 million off claimants in Scotland at an average of £250 per sanctioned household.
Mr Stephens, who represents Glasgow South West, said the approach highlighted the UK government’s cruelty, warning UK social security policy undermined the positive work carried out by the Scottish Government.
Commenting, Chris Stephens MP said:
“These figures show the devastating impact of the Tory government’s existing regime on people’s ability to feed themselves and fend off destitution.
“If you look at the combined impact of this Destitution Tax, alongside the Poverty Tax of deductions from Universal Credit, almost £2 billion a year is being taken from the poorest people across these islands.
“The cruelty of the DWP under this Tory government is on full show, hammering and leaving households destitute through a cost of living crisis with unnecessary sanctions.
“In Scotland we’ve taken a much different, more progressive approach, opposing Westminster austerity by uprating benefits in line with inflation and increasing the Scottish Child Payment – work the Tories would do well to learn from.
“The sad reality is though that all that work remains at risk and is ever-undermined while we remain attached to the broken Westminster system at the mercy of the callous Conservative Party – demonstrating once again why Scotland desperately needs independence.”