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24 November 2004

STEVENSON SLAMS PROPOSED CUTS IN LOCAL BENEFITS SERVICES

Banff and Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson has signed his colleague, Brian Adam’s Parliamentary Motion expressing concern about the impact of proposed cuts by the Department of Work and Pensions in local provision of benefits advice.

Commenting on the issue, Mr Stevenson said:

“Should the proposed cuts go ahead, then it is unfortunate that the outcome will most likely be a likely reduction in benefits uptake by many vulnerable people which is a great shame. What I find deplorable is the unfair geographical spread of the cuts, leaving Grampian, Tayside and Fife without any local offices whatsoever.

“As a result, there shall be a consequential increased workload that will fall on local authority and voluntary sector money advice services, when they already work to capacity and are in huge demand.

“I feel that the Scottish Executive should make representations to protect the interests and incomes of the vulnerable in Scotland. More must be done to ensure that those in society that have the greatest need still have access to appropriate local advice and assistance.”
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