Charity group wants welfare changes

A group of more than 40 charities has called for changes to radically simplify the welfare system. The Scottish Campaign on Welfare Reform (SCoWR) says people are often made to “jump through hoops” to claim meagre benefits.

The coalition made the challenge to politicians ahead of the general election with the launch of its own manifesto.

John Dickie, spokesman for the Child Poverty Action Group, said: “The current system fails to tackle the real problems people face trying to get into work and too often makes people jump through impossible hoops to claim meagre benefits.

“Our manifesto challenges all those standing at the general election to only support proposals that treat people with dignity and protect them from poverty.”

The group called for an increase in the proportion of non means-tested financial support which, it said, is easier to administer and does not suffer the stigma often attached to means-tested support.

Respect for human rights and dignity should be at the cornerstone of any changes to the welfare system, according to the group.

Citizens Advice Scotland said it was clear that services were “in the firing line” of politicians looking to make spending cuts.

Chief executive Kaliani Lyle said: “This manifesto is all about challenging politicians of all parties to show us they too are committed to maintaining a fair welfare system for those sick, disabled and vulnerable people who depend on it.”

Action for Children Scotland, The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations and the Scottish Trade Union Congress are all members of the SCoWR.