SNP MSP, Neil Gray (pictured), has branded the latest revelation of the UK’s Government DWP’s treatment of universal credit claimants “utterly despicable” as the Public Interest Law Centre (PILC) exposed evidence that people are being forced to submit photos of themselves holding a local daily paper outside their home in order to claim universal credit.
The PILC have likened this treatment of universal credit claimants as “what kidnappers do” and said it shows “how utterly disconnected the DWP is from the lived experience of people surviving on a low income.”
The instructions were posted in an online universal credit journal and have been confirmed by the DWP as “legitimate” and “part of a package of measures to clamp down on benefit fraud.”
Commenting SNP MSP Neil Gray said:
“The Tory UK Government should be deeply ashamed of making people jump through these degrading hoops to claim the support they are entitled to.
“What they are asking is utterly despicable and, logistically, unworkable.
“These ill-considered instructions underline how out of touch the UK Government is with some of the most vulnerable people in our communities who on rely on this support to get by – and this blatant disinterest is seriously worrying.
“The UK Government need listen to those who understand the circumstances for many of the people and families who will be unable to do what is being asked of them because they do not have the money, the address or physical capability to complete these demeaning tasks.
“Even before this latest revelation, the application process for Universal Credit was already dehumanising and shockingly difficult to navigate – some would say deliberately so.
“This latest uncovering is a new low, even for the Tories.
“Under Westminster control we are seeing the citizens of Scotland being put through increasingly cruel and humiliating tasks simply to claim welfare support.
“The people of Scotland deserve a welfare system rooted in fairness, dignity and respect which we can only create in an independent Scotland, with full powers over social security.”