Fig­ures in area could be ‘masked’

The Press and Journal (Inverness) - - NEWS -

A north-east MP has claimed the true level of un­em­ploy­ment in Aberdeen­shire may be masked by un­claimed ben­e­fit.

West Aberdeen­shire and Kin­car­dine MP An­drew Bowie, elected in May, is now a mem­ber of West­min­ster’s work and pen­sions com­mit­tee and said he is in­ves­ti­gat­ing.

The Con­ser­va­tive MP said he has sub­mit­ted ques­tions to the House of Com­mons li­brary to try to un­cover whether true lev­els of un­em­ploy- ment fol­low­ing the down­turn are clear.

He said: “There is a food bank in Ban­chory, but of­fi­cial fig­ures show there are only 30 peo­ple claim­ing out of work ben­e­fits. I find it un­be­liev­able we have 1.7% un­em­ploy­ment when so many are em­ployed in oil and gas.

“I think there are peo­ple strug­gling and, for what­ever rea­son, fail­ing to get the ap­pro­pri­ate sup­port.”

Speak­ing at the UK Con­ser­va­tive con­fer­ence in Manch­ester, Mr Bowie said: “We need to work out what’s hap­pen­ing if peo­ple are slip­ping through the net.

“The wel­fare state should offer that safety net and look at how we can com­bat peo­ple not claim­ing the sup­port they are en­ti­tled to.”

“We need to find out if peo­ple are slip­ping through the net”

An­drew Bowie

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