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MSPs grill Carmichael over child poverty

SCOTTISH Secretary Alistair Carmichael came under ferocious attack over the impact of the austerity programme on child poverty when he appeared before MSPs.

The Welfare Reform Committee gave the Liberal Democrat member of the Westminster coalition a tough time, particularly on how some on benefits who face "sanctions" end up turning to food banks. Glasgow MSP Bob Doris described how a constituent lost benefits for missing a job centre appointment because she was at a work placement organised by the job centre.

In one year there were 53,270 welfare sanctions, he said, calling for a full review of the system. Over six months, 23,000 people including about 7000 children in Scotland had to access food banks. The total is an increase of 19,000, he told the Scottish Secretary.

Asked if there is a direct link between sanctions and food banks, Mr Carmichael said: "I think there may well be because sanctions are normally the result of the conduct of the claimant themselves."

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