Tories caught out over ‘hollow’ support pledge for disabled people

Ministers claim disabled people hit by cuts will be supported by more employment advisers, but 23 Jobcentres across Scotland are to be axed.

The Scottish National Party has criticised the Tories for announcing plans to try to lessen the impact of their devastating £30 a week cut to the incomes of disabled people by putting more advisers in Jobcentres – mere months after announcing plans to slash the numbers of Jobcentres across Scotland.

In November, MPs from nine parties – including Conservative MPs – supported the SNP’s calls for the cut to ESA to be postponed until alternative financial support was introduced. Despite DWP Ministers promising that a package of additional measures would be introduced, nothing has happened.

Earlier in the week, DWP Ministers announced that the only additional measures would be more employment advisers in Jobcentres to allow for more “one-to-one work and health conversations” but this comes after Tory plans revealed 23 Jobcentres across Scotland will be axed – with a 50% cut to Jobcentres in Glasgow – leaving many disabled people struggling to get to their nearest Jobcentre.

Neil Gray MP, the SNP’s Fair Work and Employment spokesperson, said: “The Tories have slashed £30 a week from the incomes of people who are unable to work through chronic ill-health or disability and have said additional support will be provided by staff in Job Centres – but the Tories want to drastically reduce the number of Job Centres across Scotland.

“This so-called additional support will come as a very hollow promise to disabled people who are struggling to make ends meet and worried about paying the bills.

“It’s all very well for the Tories to say there will be more employment advisers in Jobcentres for one-to-one conversations but that is little comfort to the hundreds and thousands of disabled people across Scotland who will face longer journeys or be unable to get to their nearest Jobcentre.

“This election has been called in the narrow self-interests of the Tory party who want to stifle any opposition to their plans for a hard, right-wing Brexit and is yet another way for them to distract attention away from the raft of severe cuts this UK government has inflicted on some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

“In this election, it’s a clear choice between the Tories who are obsessed with austerity and the SNP who will always put the people of Scotland first.”

This is an official press release from the Scottish National Party (SNP).

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