Sick and disabled Scots and their families will lose out under UK Government benefit reforms, according to new figures published by Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS).
CAS says 115,000 Scots will lose out on sickness benefits over the next three years. Of these, 36,000 will only be eligible for Jobseeker's Allowance. They will face a drop in income of at least £27 a week, and will have to seek work. Another 65,000 will drop out of the benefits system altogether – either because it is deemed a partner can support them, or because they have not paid sufficient contributions having been out of work for a lengthy period. This group faces a loss of at least £99 a week.
22,500 people in Glasgow will lose entitlement to a total of £73.7 million, with 19,600 told they are not eligible for Employment and Support Allowance. Meanwhile, in West Dunbartonshire, 2800 people will lose entitlement, saving the Government £9.1m, but will be plunged into an employment hunt in an area where there are 20.6 people looking for every post advertised through a Jobcentre.
CAS says the only way for people to replace the income they will lose under the scheme is to find a job, but Ms McPhee, CAS Head of Policy, said this was unrealistic. "With unemployment at a 16-year high, the economy struggling to grow, and former sickness benefit claimants facing discrimination from employers, many of these people will struggle to find a job."
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