Protests illustrate depth of feeling
The depth of feeling and raw emotion surrounding roll-out of the hugely controversial Universal Credit system was laid bare during a committee meeting at Holyrood yesterday.
An event featuring the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Esther McVey was twice suspended due to the actions of furious protesters.
Urged to apologise for the “suffering and distress caused” the minister, perhaps not surprisingly, declined.
The global economic downturn which began in 2008 heralded the birth of a new austerity, and the implications are still being felt now.
There is little doubt thousands feel hard done by and ensuring nobody in society slips through the net has proved tricky indeed.
However, that is the job of government.
With powers over benefits set to transfer to Holyrood in three years, politicians need to be confident that the system is fit for purpose and delays which have bedevilled the rollout of Universal Credit must be ironed out long before the Scottish Parliament takes full control.
Policies of austerity are never going to be popular and claims that society’s most vulnerable will be hardest hit are inevitable.
Yesterday’s protests, however unpalatable, act as a stark reminder to our political masters that the pressure is always on.