Three thousand locals are on the breadline

Claudia Beamish
Claudia Beamish

More than 3000 Clydesdale citizens have required an emergency benefits payout just to feed themselves and their families.

Labour Party figures made the claim after obtaining local data onthose having to claim advanced payment of their Universal Credits.

Lanark-based regional MSP Clauia Beamish said: “Stats obtained from the Department of Work and Pensions reveal that £80 million has been paid out in advance loan payments since Universal Credit was rolled out into full service in Scotland.

“Figures supplied from local Jobcentre data show that in Lanark 3,050 advance payments have been made with an average value of £422 each.

“Clearly we have a benefits system that is failing, if so many people are having to rely on advanced payments to tide them over until their Universal Credit is in place. The 3,050 advance payments through the Lanark Jobcentre alone is a sobering figure and it is shameful that people are being placed in such hardship.

“The Tories have to rethink this shambolic system.”

Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Lanark and Hamilton East Andrew Hilland said:“The United Nations recently condemned universal credit as a punitive and draconian system that is‘fast falling into universal discredit.

“We are seeing this first-hand in Clydesdale, as long payment delays drive hundreds of claimants into hardship, depression and despair.

“This week the Tory Government announced £2.1 billion of funding to prepare for a no-deal Brexit. Surely they can now find the money to fix our broken welfare system, and ensure that people get the help they need.”

Recently Lanark and Hamilton East’s SNP MP Angela Crawley attacked the government for penalising carers by counting their allowance as income when calculating their Universal Credit entitlement.