Wednesday, 18 July 2018 13:36


The SNP has called on the Tory government to pay compensation to disabled people who were left out of pocket as a result a major error by the UK Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). 

Responding to a new report by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), SNP Social Justice spokesperson, Neil Gray, said Tory "chaos and incompetence" had left thousands of chronically ill and disabled benefit claimants in financial difficulty, and called for the UK government to make a public apology, full back payments to 2011, and give financial compensation to those affected. 

The PAC report, published today, highlights an estimated 70,000 claimants were underpaid by £5,000 to £20,000 between 2011 and 2016 because the DWP incorrectly underpaid them when moving them from Incapacity Benefit to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). The error also meant claimants were denied their right to support with the cost of medical prescriptions, dentistry, and school meals.The PAC estimate the cost of fixing the UK government's error will be over £350million in back payments and administrative costs alone.

Commenting, Neil Gray MP said:

"It's disgraceful that Tory chaos and incompetence has left thousands of chronically ill and disabled people out of pocket and struggling to get by.

"The UK government must make a public apology, and ensure full back payments and financial compensation for all those affected.

"Time and again, Tory errors and cuts have pushed families into poverty and crisis, leaving many without the means to put food on the table or cover the most basic of living costs. 

"The UK government must ditch its failed austerity agenda, and follow the example of the SNP Scottish Government, which is building a Scottish social security system based on fairness, dignity, and respect." 

Thousands of claimants failed by DWP 'culture of indifference' -

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