It’s time to make our voices heard on welfare reform

John mcfall

Lord McFall on the birth of the Scottish Leaders Welfare Group (SLWG)

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12th December 2014 by TFN Guest 1 Comment

We brought this group together following a series of conversations and meetings over the spring and summer. All of us have been concerned about the effect welfare reform is having. We thought it was time for a group that brings together influential civic voices who aim to constructively advocate for a different approach. The group is concerned about the negative impact of many recent changes to the welfare and benefits system and the attitude that has been shown to people who need benefits to top up low wages or because they face barriers to work.
 
We want to see an approach which has, at its core, values that we would all wish to live by. Values that enshrine the right for everyone to have enough to live on and lead a dignified life not relying on charities to feed themselves or their families and to have respect accorded to everyone within our society.
 

We want to come together to use our collective voice to highlight the impact of welfare changes on some of Scotland’s poorest and most vulnerable people with the aim of being heard by those who can make the changes needed

As individuals we have all voiced our concerns within our organisations and outwith them; we have raised our worries both privately and publicly. Now we want to come together to use our collective voice to highlight the impact of welfare changes on some of Scotland’s poorest and most vulnerable people with the aim of being heard by those who can make the changes needed.
 
With the excellent meetings we held today at the CAB and at the foodbank in Drumchapel, we have begun the process of building a true picture of the welfare system today, and how it actually impacts on those who rely on it. Going forward, we will hold similar meetings and gather more evidence; we will share our knowledge and experience and that of other organisations; we will make recommendations to policy-makers and all levels of Government for changes to the system now and for the future; we will act as a persuasive advocate for the poor and those affected by welfare reform; and we will campaign for change.
 
We want to do more than advocate for the mitigation of the damaging results that changes to benefit legislation and policy has caused – although we will seek to do that too - but also pursue changes that will ease the pressures and hardships that so many in our society are currently feeling.

Lord John McFall of Alcluith is a member of the House of Lords and a British Labour Co-operative politician

15th December 2014 by Kate Erskine

Hypocracy of the highest order. When a large number of Labour MPs and Lords have actively supported the Tory agenda on welfare, can it be a surprise to learn that tens of thousands of ex Labour voters like me have abandoned the party? Now we have one of the most right wing Blairites leading Scottish Labour......beggars belief!