East End MP responds to Government’s Welfare Reform proposals

11 Dec 2008

East End Scottish National Party MP, John Mason, has warned that the welfare reforms outlined by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions risk demonising and punishing the unemployed.

Commenting after the launch of the Welfare Reform White Paper, Mr Mason said:

“Reforms must be about helping and encouraging people back into work, not demonising and punishing the unemployed.

“The fact is that a huge amount has changed since the Welfare Reform proposals were first mooted in July, and now any reforms must reflect the changed economic climate.

“With dole queues getting longer every day, the focus should be on stimulating the economy and creating new jobs and opportunities.

“While we will look cautiously and constructively at the wider proposals, half-baked and draconian reforms are not the answer.”

Commenting on reports that Glasgow is to be one of five pilot areas for the new approach outlined in the White Paper Mr Mason, who represents Glasgow East, added:

“I want to see the detail of this pilot project, and still need to be convinced that the UK Government’s proposals will be a helping hand rather than a heavy hand.

“What would not acceptable is to pile pressure and sanctions on very vulnerable people who are genuinely incapacitated. That will cause fear for many who are living on low incomes.”