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Angus MacDonald MSP slams the Conservative Party's punitive welfare cuts agenda

The MSP for Falkirk East, Angus MacDonald - pictured below outside the Scottish Parliament - has highlighted new figures showing that the UK Chancellor George Osborne’s welfare reductions are costing 300 jobs in the district of Falkirk, confirming that the party’s policy agenda is “failing by every conceivable measure”.

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New research from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe), based on a methodology used by Professor Steve Fothergill in a study on Wales, shows that as a consequence 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 Falkirk district.

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".

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Commenting on the University's findings, Angus MacDonald said, “It is now abundantly clear that the callous, punitive Tory reductions to social security have failed by even their own standards. And it’s communities in areas like Falkirk, which has been negatively impacted by Tory cuts to the tune of £44 million annually, who are paying the hefty price.

“Not content with pushing vulnerable people even further into poverty while doing nothing to support people into employment, we now know that Chancellor Osborne's social security cuts are actually costing 300 jobs in the Falkirk area by sucking spending power out of our poorest communities.

Chancellor Osborne holding budget briefcase with welfare cuts aloft

The Falkirk East MSP continued his statement on the Chancellor's austerity-driven welfare reforms by exclaiming, “With less money in the economy, unemployment is becoming rife in communities across the country as a result of these welfare reductions.

"Three hundred unfortunate residents in the district of Falkirk, where my constituency is situated, now find themselves without work as the Conservative Party's ideological right-wing attack on the poor intensifies.

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Mr. MacDonald added, "These harsh Tory measures only serve to create a vicious circle of unemployment in the areas where joblessness and poverty is already acute. 

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

“Moreover, 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.”

Copyright © Angus MacDonald MSP 2017

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