Stark warning over benefits shake-up

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THE Governnment’s proposed Welfare Reform Bill could cause more shops to close on Hawick High Street.

That was the grim prediction made by a local official at a meeting of Teviot and Liddesdale Area Committee, following a briefing on the planned benefits shake-up.

After hearing of the potential vast reduction in payouts of housing and council tax benefits, disability allowance and increase in homelessness, Councillor Davie Paterson commented: “The sick, the disabled, those suffering from ilnesses like cancer, these people are going to be hit hard. If you take an estimated £8million out of the Borders economy, can you imagine how many job losses that will result in?”

And he added: “The loss of money to this town and our shops will be horrendous.”

Councillor Stuart Marshall commented: “This is not about the fraudsters being hit, it is about how it will affect local families.”