Speaking in a Holyrood debate about the Future of Social Security in Scotland, local MSP Ruth Maguire condemned the ‘morally bankrupt’ welfare reform of the UK Tory Govt, and called for a different approach from the Scottish Parliament as 15% of welfare powers are devolved.

Exposing the failure of the Tories’ work programme, Ruth cired figures showing that people were five times more likely to be sanctioned in one year—2014—than to find a job between 2011 and 2014.

Speaking, Ruth said:

‘This is one simple illustration that punitive sanctions are an ineffective way to get people into work.

No financial incentive will cure disability or illness, but stress and worry will exacerbate most conditions. And, if I may be blunt, you cannot starve people into jobs that do not exist’.

Ruth also deplored that it is the local authorities who face the greatest economic challenges, such as North Ayrshire, that are the hardest hit by welfare reform, placing additional pressures on public services and compounding the difficulties of economic growth

‘The same areas that were devastated by Tory de-industrialisation in the 1980s are being hit again now. It is interesting, but probably of little surprise, that the places that are least affected by welfare reforms are those from which the Tory party draws its political support’