Protests il­lus­trate depth of feel­ing

The Courier & Advertiser (Dundee Edition) - - COMMENT -

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.

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