The SNP has said the Tories' actions in blocking an SNP amendment that would have ensured those sanctioned by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) would still receive a vital cost of living payment shows the true callous nature of the UK government.
It comes as sanctions handed out by the DWP to Universal Credit claimants across the UK have soared to a new peak of 6.86%, according to recent statistics, with figures also revealing nearly 100,000 sanctions have been handed out in Scotland since 2016.
The party's Social Justice spokesperson, David Linden MP, said the move was 'especially cruel' given the soaring cost of living crisis created by the Tories, and warned the vote spells a grim warning of more austerity to come in the UK government's looming budget.
Commenting, David Linden MP said:
"Our amendment sought to ensure that those sanctioned by the UK government would still receive the vital cost of living payment - a payment crucial to so many households as costs have soared.
"That the Tories would seek to block that just goes to show the true callous nature of this UK government, and spells out a grim warning of more austerity to come in the upcoming Spring Budget.
"At a time when households are looking to the UK government for help they're instead seeing barriers to support erected and families economically punished for no good reason.
"The sanctions regime isn't new and has caused untold misery to families up and down the country since it was launched by the Tories, but this move is especially cruel given the pressures households are under from a crisis of the Conservatives making.
"It's a far cry from the approach of the Scottish Government who have used their limited social security powers to usher in new benefits like the Scottish Child Payment, described as game-changing by leading charities.
"That's an approach the Tories would do well to emulate, not oppose.
"But it shouldn't be the job of the Scottish Government to pick up the broken pieces left by the Tories and continually use its limited powers to mitigate Tory rule - we should be free from the worst of that with the full powers of independence."
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