SNP Councillor Condemns Impact of Tory Austerity Cuts

Councillor Kenny MacLaren (SNP – Paisley Northwest) has said that Scotland is “tackling poverty with one hand tied behind our backs”, following revelations the SNP Scottish Government has spent almost £400m in four years plugging the gaps created by Tory austerity.
Despite Westminster’s £211m real terms cuts to Scotland’s fiscal resource budget this year, the SNP Government is spending over £127m mitigating UK Government welfare policies, such as the bedroom tax, and supporting those on low incomes.

By the end of this decade, Westminster cuts since 2010 will have reduced annual welfare spend in Scotland by £4 billion, which is more than the entire budget for the new Social Security system in Scotland.

Councillor Kenny MacLaren said:

“The Tories think they can do whatever they want to Scotland and get away with it.

“Despite continued cuts to Scotland’s budget, over the past four years the SNP Scottish Government has spent nearly £400m plugging the gaps created by Tory austerity to try to keep people in Scotland from further hardship.

“In that time, Tory cuts have driven up the number of food bank parcels distributed in Scotland by nearly 30%, and this year alone it’s estimated that Tory cuts will leave 3.1 million children with working parents below the official breadline across the UK.

“It is totally unacceptable that in 2018 people are finding themselves in these situations through absolutely no fault of their own.

“With our limited powers over welfare in Scotland the SNP Scottish Government is building a social security system with dignity and respect at its heart – but as long as the Tory government in Westminster persists with such damaging, callous welfare policies, Scotland will be tackling poverty with one hand tied behind our backs.”

SG spending on welfare reform impact mitigation, and supporting those on low incomes

  2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 2018/19
Discretionary Housing Payment £35m £35m £59.1m £63.4m
Scottish Welfare Fund £38m £38.4m £38m £38m
Fairer Scotland £8m £8m £6.9m £25.8m
Total £81m £81.4m £104m £127.2m

Source: Scottish Government figures, provided by SPICe.