Fears more people than ever are suffering welfare issues

People in Moray facing significant health issues are not being supported in the manner they should be because of problems with the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

Moray’s MP has said that he is seeing an increasing number of cases involving constituents facing increasing hardship and stress brought about by serious issues when trying to claim ESA.

“From start to finish the entire package of Westminster’s welfare cuts has been disastrously planned,” Angus Robertson MP said, adding: “These have failed utterly to prioritise the need to support people in their most vulnerable times.

“Now the news that Employment and Support Allowance sickness benefit could be drastically cut is deeply concerning.

“I have had to help constituents through my Moray Constituency Office who are clearly suffering significant illness and health problems that are a barrier to them working.

“No reasonable person believes that we should not be supporting people in their most vulnerable times, yet that is exactly what the UK Government appears to be considering.”

The MP added that UK ministers seem determined to put the sick and disabled on the front line when it comes to spending cuts, leaving too many wrongly assessed and waiting for too long before assessment decisions are reached.

He added: “All of us hope we will never have to claim ESA, but we want to know that if we do develop a serious illness or disability that prevents us from working, there will be a safety net.

“Cuts to the financial support available to sick and disabled people will simply increase the stress and worry they experience, increase pressures on unpaid family carers, and in the worst cases, push people into debt while they are trying to recover from a life-changing illness.

“The Westminster establishment has shown time and time again that it cannot be trusted on welfare.

“It’s time that welfare powers were transferred from Westminster to Scotland – to allow us to use the welfare state to build a fairer, more equal society, rather than to punish vulnerable people and the working poor.”

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