Figures in area could be ‘masked’
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”