Macdonald questions “retreat to the Central Belt” by DWP
All complaints and enquiries from MSPs and MPs on behalf of their constituents will now be handled by one team of staff based in Glasgow.
Previously, these enquiries would have been handled by the local District Office, such as the North of Scotland District Office in Inverness.
Lewis Macdonald said :
“This looks like yet another retreat to the Central Belt by a central government department.
“When issues surrounding benefits and welfare reform are making the headlines on a daily basis, it is the wrong time for the Department for Work and Pensions to centralise and scale down its complaints and enquiries service in Scotland.
“Members of the public who are ill or have a disability now face a battle just to ensure they are able to get the money they need to survive, and it is vital that MSPs are able to support their constituents when there are issues with their applications.
“Reducing the enquiries department to just one Glasgow-based team will surely lead to delays in dealing with these cases, increasing the stress and worry for the applicant who needs their benefit payment just to get by.
“That is why I have written to Iain Duncan Smith to ask why this decision was made, and whether the DWP gave any consideration to the impact it would have on the lives of ordinary people.”