Welfare cuts ‘cost 200 jobs’

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SNP MSP Christine Grahame has today highlighted new figures showing that Tory welfare cuts are costing 200 jobs in the Scottish Borders– confirming that the policy agenda is “failing by every conceivable measure”.

New research from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) based on methodology used by Professor Steve Fothergill in a study on Wales - shows that as a result of reduced disposable income due to social security cuts, £1,520 million has been removed each year from the Scottish economy – with the resultant loss of jobs in the Borders.

This new data comes on the back of expert evidence from Sheffield Hallam University to the Scottish Parliament’s Welfare Reform Committee making clear that Tory social security cuts had “no relationship with employment growth” and that “the evidence provides little support for the view that welfare reform is having important and positive impacts on the labour market in Scotland.”

Ms Grahame said: “It’s now abundantly clear that the callous, punitive Tory cuts to social security have failed by even their own standards – and it’s people in the Borders who are paying the price. The financial impact of this welfare reform is £27M in the Borders.

“Not content with pushing vulnerable people even further into poverty while doing nothing to support people into employment, we now know that Tory social security cuts are actually costing 200 jobs in the Borders by sucking spending power out of our poorest communities.

“With less money in the economy in communities across the country as a result of these welfare cuts, 200 people in the Borders now find themselves without work as the consequences of the Tories’ ideological right-wing attack on the poor intensify, creating a vicious circle of unemployment in the areas where this is already acute.

“With his welfare cuts failing by every conceivable measure, it’s time for David Cameron to finally admit that his unfair policies simply don’t work – and for a long overdue U-turn from this Tory government who are more interested in punishing unemployed people than in supporting them back into work.

“And with Westminster’s appalling record on social security, it’s absolutely no wonder that more and more people in Scotland want these key powers to be in Scotland’s hands – rather than in the hands of right-wing Tory ideologues.”