Shocking new figures have revealed that the DWP’s “callous” sanctions policy has been used against claimants in Scotland over 115,000 times.
The UK Government’s own data shows that close to a third of all Universal Credit claimants are at risk of being sanctioned – whereby their benefits are reduced or stopped completely.
The data also showed that between May 2022 and April 2023, the failure to attend or participate in a mandatory interview was the reason for 97% of sanctions given out.
David Linden MP, the party’s social justice spokesperson, has urged the UK government to cease handing out ‘unfair’ sanctions during the cost of living crisis, whilst simultaneously slamming Labour for their commitment to continue the ‘cruel’ sanctions regime.
Commenting David Linden MP said:
“These shocking figures show that the cruel Tory benefits sanctions regime – which is punishing the poorest members of our society – must come to an end during this cost of living crisis, to avoid pushing more and more people into poverty.
“Unfortunately, I have heard of far too many cases of people who have missed a bus or been held up in traffic making them slightly late to a jobseekers appointment, which has led to their benefits being sanctioned.
“In direct opposition to Westminster, the SNP Government is building a social security system based on values of fairness, dignity and respect.
“We have uprated benefits in line with inflation, increased the ‘game-changing Scottish Child Payment to £25 a week per child, and implemented the Best Start Grants to help people through the cost of living crisis.
“However, the sad reality is that all of that progress continues to be undermined while we remain under Westminster control.
“The Tories and Labour have proven time and time again that tackling poverty and making life better for people in Scotland is not on their agenda.
“This is why Scotland must have the full powers of independence – to build a fairer society for all.”