Local SNP MSP attacks welfare cuts

A CITIZENS Advice Scotland report shows that 780 people a day are calling their helpline seeking advice about the changes to the welfare system.

This prompted the SNP Scottish Government to announce it was stepping in with £5.3 million of funding for benefit advice groups.

Paul Wheelhouse MSP, launched a scathing attack on the Westminster Government, taking the opportunity to urge people to vote ‘Yes’ in next year’s Scottish independence referendum.

“Since the benefit changes I have seen an increase in constituents contacting me about their financial predicament following the decision by the Tories in Westminster to force them into poverty,” said Paul.

“I am not in the least surprised that an increasing burden is being placed upon staff and volunteers within charities and organisations such as Citizens Advice, who work tirelessly to support people across the Borders who face problems in managing debt and/or putting food on the table.

“So far Westminster has failed to provide any additional support to the charities struggling to cope and this report demonstrates just how high the demand for support and advice has become.”

However, Scottish Conservatives dispute the stance being taken by the SNP party. MSP Alex Johnstone said the majority of the money had come from the UK Government’s Department of Work and Pensions.

“The £5 million is to be handed to the Scottish Government as part of a UK-wide grant to fund advice services, yet the SNP happily announced these as new funds without any reference to their origin,” said Mr Johnstone.