Leading charity sector leader, Martin Sime, has called Westminster
austerity cuts "criminal"
Scottish news: UK austerity - Westminster cuts ‘criminal’, says leading Scottish charity
by Jennifer Elliott
UK government cuts to the welfare budget have been called “criminal” by the chief of the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO).
Following the latest announcement of Westminster cuts, a report has been published revealing three-quarters of welfare charities foresee demand increasing for their services next year.
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The figures, taken from SCVO’s annual ‘State of the Sector’ report, showed twenty percent of charities expect staff hours to increase, with volunteer numbers expected to rise thirty-five percent.
In a statement today, the SCVO said: “It’s clear from this research that Westminster’s ‘criminal’ cuts to welfare are putting so much pressure on charities’ services that some will struggle to keep up with the demand from people and families in Scotland”.
The UK government’s decision to cut £10bn from the welfare budget began in October, when Chancellor George Osborne vowed the budget cut would “finish the job” of rebuilding the economy.
However, Chief Executive of SCVO, Martin Sime, said the cuts are coming at a time when the country is still struggling to recover from the recession – with the cuts affecting those most in need of help.
Mr Sime said the welfare cuts were “ill-conceived” and that charities were already concerned about meeting the record high demand for services.
The chief executive also said: “It’s clear from this research that Westminster’s criminal cuts to welfare are putting so much pressure on charities’ services that some will struggle to keep up with demand from people and families in Scotland.
“The sector is pulling together to pick up the pieces and help to mitigate the terrible effects of these ill-conceived Westminster cuts which should never have happened in the first place.”
Responding to the cuts, the SNP has said Tory-led Westminster must rethink its plans, instead of “hammering the vulnerable.”
SNP MSP Annabelle Ewing, who sits on the Welfare Reform Committee said: “This is a powerful condemnation of the UK Government’s attack on essential welfare for some of those most in need”.
Scotland’s deputy first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, added: “The Scottish government – under the current constitutional settlement – will do all it can to mitigate the impact of these cuts and changes although there are consequences that are out-with the capability of the Scottish government’s powers.”
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