What is happening now is a stark reminder of my teenage years when my dad lost his job due to the then Government's privatisation programme.
Like many men in Springburn, he became one of the long-term unemployed. At the same time, the closure of the railway engineering works (the major local employer) ripped the heart out of many families and communities in north Glasgow.
I cannot say with certainty the place I grew up in – the place which shaped my views about social justice and poverty – has ever recovered.
Here we are in 2012 and it is happening all over again. Don't let the Coalition Government tell you otherwise. Iain Duncan Smith's "epiphany" in Easterhouse seems long forgotten. Meanwhile I cannot imagine George Osborne or David Cameron ever truly understanding what it's like to have no choice but to leave your dignity at the door of the ever-increasing number of food banks to feed yourself or your family.
I don't use such emotive language lightly. I often wonder, along with many who work in the third sector, whether we have jumped into HG Wells's time machine and zipped back to another era when abject poverty and hungry children were a common feature in society.
Unfortunately, this is the reality of welfare reform and now it is to take a new twist. The planned cuts will affect those who are able to work. There are thousands who have disabilities but are able to live the lives they want, to work and contribute thanks to Disability Living Allowance, access to the Motability scheme and a combination of other funding and social care support.
These are not the traditional recipients of welfare benefits – and they are worried sick about their future. The impact on young people starting out in their lives, probably still staying at home (if they can) is stark to say the least.
Hopes of ever having a home of their own or a decent job seem to fade with every announcement the Coalition Government makes.
Whole swathes of the third sector are picking up the pieces when people fall foul of the transfer to Employment Support Allowance, when more and more people face an endless cycle of appeals, and the challenges of simple day-to-day living push families to breaking point.
Citizens Advice Scotland and Shelter are two of many charities seeing demand for advice and benefits help increase exponentially. One Parent Families Scotland is working with lone mothers who opt out of the benefit system altogether because the conditionality surrounding their claims is so stringent. It is easier – but inherently more risky – to work in the black market.
In communities across Scotland, smaller charities and grassroots organisations are also being affected. I spoke recently to a carers' organisation in Glasgow. They talk about the cumulative impact of welfare reform on families and individuals, with families facing the threat of having nothing to live on as all benefits are reviewed. Carer support workers have seen an 80% increase in benefit and financial referrals and, with a standstill budget, are coming up with innovative approaches and partnerships to cope.
This includes a new legal service so carers and the person they care for can access legal aid to obtain medical evidence to support their benefit claims. The team is undergoing debt advisory training and offering unpaid carers debt advisory and welfare benefits sessions. They have also teamed up with a local supermarket to offer training in online shopping and shopping for less. Their continued positivity and enthusiasm is a beacon in an otherwise depressing landscape.
This is all happening before the £2 billion cut to Scotland's welfare budget takes hold. And I haven't even touched on the ATOS assessments where agreed diagnoses are questioned and, as the GPs at the Deep End report highlighted, "the sick come out cured".
I know through a range of contacts the stresses caused by the assessments for Employment and Support Allowance are exhausting.
The third sector in all its guises knows what welfare reform means for hundreds of thousands of people living across Scotland. It has been calling for a whole-country, a whole-Government and a whole-system response. The reality of welfare reform means nothing else will do.
Lynn Williams is policy officer at the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations.