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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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People Stripped of Benefits Could be Charged for Challenging Decision

Friday, 21 February 2014


“POOREST IN SOCIETY BEING HIT THE HARDEST"

The Scottish National Party have condemned the UK government as it is revealed people who have been stripped of benefits could be charged £250 by the government for trying to appeal against the decision to an independent judge.

In a leaked document from the Department of Work and Pensions, officials say the “introduction of a charge for people making appeals against (DWP) decisions to social security tribunals" would raise money. Other suggestions include selling off child support debt to “the private sector to collect."

In the past year nearly 900,000 people have had their benefits stopped, the highest figure for any 12-month period since jobseeker’s allowance was introduced in 1996. In recent months, 58% of those who wanted to overturn DWP decisions in independent tribunals have been successful.

The latest revelation follows reports that the government is considering saving money by privatising the delivery of the state pension - despite 93% of pensioners being satisfied with the current model.

Commenting, SNP Work and Pensions spokesperson Dr Eilidh Whiteford said:

“This is yet another example of how the poorest people in society are being hit hardest by the Westminster government.

“It is ludicrous to suggest someone receiving benefits would be in a position to pay to appeal. The UK government seems to be absolutely ruthless when it comes to welfare cuts.

“Scotland generates massive wealth yet the Westminster system means we do not reap the rewards, and instead our most disadvantaged people are facing the brunt of government cuts through unfair measures such as this."

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