Protest to put focus on poverty in Dundee

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A protest march against poverty in Dundee is set to be held in the city centre.

Organiser Tony Cox said he hopes the rally will draw attention to the plight of Dundee’s poorest and most vulnerable people.

The organisers are seeking approval for the march from the city council’s licensing committee, who will decide (Thursday) if it can go ahead.

The marchers plan to set off from the Hilltown around noon this Saturday, before arriving at City Square, where speeches will be made.

Mr Cox, of local campaigning groups Stobbie4Aye and the Scottish Unemployed Workers Network, said the event had been organised to protest against austerity measures.

He said the organisations he represented, along with the SNP, aimed to publicly announce their condemnation of the UK government’s practice of stopping benefits to people alleged to have broken benefit rules.

“Sanctions are a harsh punishment. We stand outside the Jobcentre in Dundee every week and assist benefit claimants whose money has been stopped,” said Mr Cox.

“In many cases we find that the sanctions have been wrongly applied.

“In one case, we came across a single mum with two children who was sanctioned because her bus was 10 minutes late. Her benefits were stopped for four weeks.

“With 20 to 30 sanctions being applied every day, people are struggling to feed their families.”

Dundee East MP Stewart Hosie will also speak out against austerity and welfare cuts at the march.

Mr Hosie said that over 40,000 Dundee citizens live in areas of deprivation.

“Official statistics show that 17% of Dundee’s working age population are employment deprived, in other words, claiming JobSeekers Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, Employment and Support Allowance, or Severe Disablement Allowance. Many of these are the people turning to foodbanks.”

Mr Cox said that the marchers would gather at Hilltown Park at 11.30am, adding: “There will be a food collection before the march begins.”

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