Marlyn Glen MSP

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Scottish Labour MSP for North East Scotland

Benefit cuts : Dundee could lose up to £21 million a year

17 September 2010

A report by the Scottish Local Government Forum against Poverty has revealed that cuts in benefits by the UK Coalition Government could take away between £17 and 21 million a year from claimants in Dundee.

Thousands across the city will be hit.

The figures come from a report from the Scottish Local Government Forum Against Poverty and from Rights Advice Scotland entitled “People, Councils, The Economy”.

It details the effects of the UK Government’s changes in the benefit system from now until 2114/15 for every local authority area in Scotland.

The major benefits were selected for study were :

Housing Benefit, Disability Living Allowance, and Incapacity Benefit/ Severe Disablement Allowance

It forecasts the following annual losses in Dundee –

Housing Benefit

More than 75% of 2,820 claimants will be affected by total annual losses of approximately £1,281,000

Disability Living Allowance

Total number of claimants (11,290) will be cut by 20% leading to annual losses of £8,521,401

Incapacity Benefit/Severe Disablement Allowance

Total number of claimants (8,620) will be cut leading to annual losses in the range of £4,894,836 – £8,503,040

These total between £14,697,237 – £18,305,441

Other losses arise from the changeover in the calculation of the amount of benefit using the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rather than the RPI (Retail Price Index)

These are :

5,094 Jobseekers Allowance recipients will lose £242,756 annually

3,470 Carers Allowance recipients will lose £164,200 annually

4,790 Attendance Allowance recipients will lose £265,928 annually

16,725 families receiving Child Benefit for 27,185 children will lose £3,768,697 (£2,392,133

if CPI used) over the course of 3-year freeze (pro rata £1,256,232 each year)

1,740 Employment Support Allowance recipients will lose £101,338 annually

7,050 Income Support recipients will lose £410,592 annually

7,500 Incapacity Benefit recipients will lose £378,308 annually

These changes resulting form the changeover in calculation of benefit add up to £2,819,355.

And so the overall total annual loss for Dundee is between £17,516,591 – £21,124,796

Jim McGovern MP commented,

“The findings of this report are disturbing but not surprising.

“Since the election we have been saying that the Tory ideological cuts will harm the poorest worst

“This report confirms that.”

“Whilst this new government allows the bankers that got us into this position away unscathed they are targeting the weakest and most vulnerable in our society.

“It is cities like Dundee that will suffer most.

“That is completely unacceptable.

“I will be continuing to raise these problems in Parliament, and I will do what I can to oppose the Tories and the damage their cuts agenda will have on my constituents.”

Marlyn Glen MSP said :

” Benefits payments will be hit by this “tax and axe” Budget , making many vulnerable people much worse off.

“The sharp rise in VAT of £400 a year for a typical household , will hit the poorest members of society most since it accounts for the largest amount of their tax expenditure.

“Public expenditure contracts, the source of much of the work that the private sector depends upon, is being hit badly, and it fuels fears of a double-dip recession that will put many more out of work.”

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