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Patricia Gibson MP has said that Scotland is “tackling poverty with one hand tied behind our backs,” following revelations that the SNP Government has spent almost £400 million over four years plugging the gaps created by Tory austerity. Despite Westminster’s £211 million real terms cuts to Scotland’s fiscal resource budget this year, the SNP Government is spending £127.2 million mitigating UK Government welfare policies, such as the bedroom tax, and supporting people on low incomes. By the end of this decade, Westminster cuts since 2010 will have reduced annual welfare spend in Scotland by £4,000 million, which is more than the entire budget for the new Social Security system in Scotland Patricia Gibson MP said: “The Tories think they can do whatever they want to Scotland and get away with it. “Despite continued cuts to Scotland’s budget, over the past four years, the SNP Government has spent nearly £400 million to keep people in Scotland from further hardship. “In that time, Tory cuts have driven up the number of food bank parcels distributed in Scotland by nearly 30%, and this year alone it’s estimated that Tory cuts will leave 3.1 million children with working parents below the official breadline across the UK. “It is totally unacceptable that in 2018 people are finding themselves in these situations. “With our limited powers over welfare in Scotland we are building a social security system with dignity and respect at its heart. However, if the UK Tory Government persists with such damaging, callous welfare policies, Scotland will be tackling poverty with one hand tied behind our backs.” SNP Government spending on welfare reform impact mitigation, and supporting those on low incomes: Discretionary Housing Payments 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 2018/19 Discretionary Housing Payments £35 million £35 million £59.1 million £63.4 million Scottish Welfare Fund £38 million £38.4 million £38 million £38 million Fairer Scotland Fund £8 million £8 million £6.9 million £25.8 million Total £81 million £81.4 million £104 million £127.2 million Source: Scottish Parliament Information Centre A million more UK children in poverty than in 2010 – study ENDS

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