Welfare Reform Committee demands Minister keeps his promise

10.11.2014

Scotland Office Minister, David Mundell MP, has been told to keep his promise by the Scottish Parliament’s Welfare Reform Committee today.

The call follows Mr Mundell’s commitment, given in public on 26 June, to meet providers of food bank services. Convener Michael McMahon MSP has written to Mr Mundell on behalf of the Scottish Parliament’s Welfare Reform Committee calling on him “to do what he said he would do”.

Committee Convener Michael McMahon MSP said:

“It is time David Mundell put his words into action and does what he has said he will do. The UK Government is in denial on the impact of its welfare reforms on some of the most vulnerable of our citizens. People deserve the opportunity to put their views and experiences directly to the Minister.”

Deputy Committee Convener Jamie Hepburn MSP said:

“The Committee has heard some very personal and difficult experiences from people struggling to cope with the UK Government’s reforms to the welfare system. David Mundell owes it to food bank providers and their users to hear their concerns directly. It is shocking that he and his Government continue to exist in a state of denial on the impact of its welfare policies.”

In a letter published today, Michael McMahon calls on the Minister to respond to three outstanding issues:

- Despite “repeated attempts” to arrange a meeting between food bank witnesses and Mr Mundell, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Scotland Office, the Committee still awaits contact from Mr Mundell’s officials regarding his availability. Mr McMahon’s letter urges the Minister “to do what you said you would do”. The Minister’s reply to the Committee dated 28 October also ignores the commitment.

- At the 26 June meeting, Mr Mundell offered to provide a detailed response to the Committee’s Report on the Local Impact of Welfare Reform. Mr McMahon’s letter reminds Mr Mundell of this commitment remaining unfulfilled.

- The Minister has indicated that he is currently undertaking meetings about these issues with stakeholders and will feed back to the Committee with his findings from those meetings. The letter reminds the Minister of this further commitment.

For a full copy of the letter, please visit the Committee’s webpages via the link http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/55809.aspx

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