The SNP has said the UK government must urgently ‘get a grip of its appalling record of failure and mismanagement’ on social security – after it emerged 180,000 disabled, sick and terminally ill people lost an average of £5,000 each in a £1.5billion benefits error.
The UK government was forced to admit that it must now pay out more than £1.5billion after mistaken calculations left tens of thousands of people without the money they were entitled to when they were moved onto the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).
Paisley and Renfrewshire South MP Mhairi Black called on the government to make the backdated payments as soon as possible, and give support to those affected, while using the Budget to deliver a long-overdue boost to incomes after a decade austerity.
Mhairi Black SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South, said: “The Tory government must urgently get a grip on its appalling record of failure and mismanagement on social security, which has left millions of people poorer and worse off.
“It is frankly disgraceful that a staggering 180,000 disabled, sick and terminally ill people have been left without the financial support they desperately need – as a result of a £1.5billion UK government blunder, that has cost people an average of £5,000 each in lost income.
“These payments must be made as soon as possible, and those affected must be given the support they need. It is simply not good enough that people in crisis situations have been left without money to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads due to Tory mistakes.
“After a decade of failed Tory austerity, incomes have fallen while poverty and inequality have risen. The Chancellor must use the Budget to deliver a major and long-overdue boost to incomes and reverse the decline in living standards that the UK government has caused.”