Clause 24 — Universal credit: costs of claimants who rent accommodation

Part of Scotland Bill – in the House of Commons at 4:00 pm on 30th June 2015.

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Photo of Tommy Sheppard Tommy Sheppard Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 4:00 pm, 30th June 2015

The right hon. Gentleman has on several occasions in this and previous debates talked about cost and about how much will be paid for certain welfare benefits. I have to say to him that he must not assume that the cuts his Government are making in the welfare budget are cost free. There will be consequences as a result of what they are doing.

If the Government reduce the amount of money that poor people have and impoverish them even further, there will be consequences for the rest of society. It will increase the burden on our national health service as people become physically and mentally ill. It will drive people to drug dependency and petty crime, and put extra demands on our police service. Most of all, it will cost our economy in the lost opportunity of those wasted lives. Do not think for one minute that there are no consequences to what the Government are doing with the welfare budget.