Please reload

Recent Posts

I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!

Please reload

Featured Posts

TORY WELFARE SPOKESPERSON DOESN’T KNOW WHICH BENEFITS ARE DEVOLVED

27 Feb 2019

Gaffe-prone Michelle Ballantyne has faced further criticism in her position as the Tories’ social security spokesperson, after it was revealed that she is unaware of which benefits are reserved to Westminster and which are devolved to Holyrood.
 
Ms Ballantyne wrote to the Scottish Government to ask about work capability assessments three times, not realising that the assessments apply only in the case of reserved benefits.
 
Cabinet Secretary for Social Security, Shirley-Anne Somerville, was forced to clarify this, stating that “both of these benefits are reserved to the UK Government” in replies to Ms Ballantyne’s three written questions.
 
This latest blunder comes after Michelle Ballantyne was criticised for saying “there’s no such thing as a bedroom tax,” despite the fact the Scottish Government has spent almost £60 million to protect people from this shocking tax that puts people at risk of rent arrears and homelessness.
 
The Tories’ welfare spokesperson has previously hit the headlines for offensive comments on the two-child cap, and for claiming that “people on benefits cannot have as many children as they like.”
 
Ms Ballantyne also claimed that there was no evidence to explain the growth in foodbank demand – despite even Amber Rudd now conceding the role of Tory policy in driving food poverty.
 
SNP MSP Shona Robison said:
 
“This just says it all.
 
“Michelle Ballantyne, in charge of welfare policy for the Scottish Tories, doesn’t know what benefits are devolved, doesn’t know that the bedroom tax is and doesn’t know why foodbanks exist.
 
“Tory welfare cuts are driving more and more people in Scotland into poverty, and Westminster has shown time and time again that it is more interested in attacking vulnerable people than supporting them. The Tories’ refusal to admit that is unacceptable.
 
“That Ruth Davidson believes Michelle Ballantyne is the right fit for the job even with her offensive views, and lack of knowledge, tells us all we need to know about the Tories.”
 
ENDS
 
Notes:

 
1.       Michelle Ballantyne (South Scotland) (Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party): To ask the Scottish Government what role Social Security Scotland’s Local Delivery Relationship Leads will have in delivering work capability assessments, or the Scottish equivalent. (S5W-21370)
 
Shirley-Anne Somerville: Work Capability Assessments are carried out for someone who makes a claim to Employment Support Allowance or Universal Credit. Both of these benefits are reserved to the UK Government. Consequently, Social Security Scotland Local Delivery Relationship Leads will not have any role in delivering them.
 
2.       Michelle Ballantyne (South Scotland) (Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party): To ask the Scottish Government how it plans to carry out face-to-face work capability assessments, or the Scottish equivalent, and what specific consideration it has given to people living in rural and remote areas and the islands. (S5W-21372)
 
Shirley-Anne Somerville: Work Capability Assessments are carried out for someone who makes a claim to Employment Support Allowance or Universal Credit. Both of these benefits are reserved to the UK Government. Consequently, Social Security Scotland Local Delivery Relationship Leads will not have any role in delivering them.
 
3.       Michelle Ballantyne (South Scotland) (Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party): To ask the Scottish Government what meetings it has had with (a) stakeholders in the tertiary education sector and (b) City and Guilds regarding the introduction of accredited training or academic modules on work capability assessments, or the Scottish equivalent. (S5W-21373)
 
Shirley-Anne Somerville: Work Capability Assessments are carried out for someone who makes a claim to Employment Support Allowance or Universal Credit. Both of these benefits are reserved to the UK Government. Consequently, Social Security Scotland Local Delivery Relationship Leads will not have any role in delivering them.

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Please reload