UK Politics

Liberal Democratic Party: Scotland’s benefit system close to breaking point says Alexander

Press Release   •   Jan 15, 2010 10:00 GMT

Liberal Democrat MP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, Danny Alexander has today revealed figures showing that the amount paid out in compensation by Jobcentre Plus in Scotland has more than tripled in the last year.

Compensation payments are made when people have lost out due to official errors.

The figures, revealed in answer to a Parliamentary Question, answer show that:

  • From 07/08 to 08/09 the number of payments made has risen from 386 payments to 538, a 39% rise

  • The total amount paid out for these claims has risen from £59,100 to £174,900, a rise of 196%

  • This equates to an average payout of £325

Commenting, Danny Alexander said:

“This failed Government has created a benefit system so complicated that even they can’t understand or manage it. It is no wonder that the recession and an incompetent Jobcentre closure policy have taken the system close to breaking point.

“A steep rise in the number of payments and the tripling of the amount paid out shows that Jobcentre Plus has failed to deliver when so many Scots need it most.

“People are being let down and the taxpayer is footing an unnecessary bill.

“We must simplify the benefit system so that people get the help they need when they need it.”