Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil has warned that the UK Government is forcing struggling families into destitution.
Figures, obtained from the DWP, revealed the amount clawed back from struggling households by the Department for Work and Pensions through their benefits sanctions regime.
In August 2022 alone, the DWP took £2.3 million away from claimants in Scotland, with £2000 taken from households in the islands at an average of £223 per month for every sanctioned household.
Angus MacNeil MP said the approach highlighted the UK government’s cruelty, warning UK social security policy undermined the positive work carried out by the Scottish Government to tackle poverty and assist households through the Tory-made cost of living crisis.
Commenting, Mr MacNeil said:
“The Tories are taking an average of £223 per month from struggling households in Na h-Eileanan an Iar during a cost-of-living crisis – a damning statement on how little the Tories care about the struggles of ordinary people.
“These figures show the devastating impact of the Tory government’s existing regime on people’s ability to feed themselves and fend off destitution.
“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 households desperately need independence.”