Mid Fife and Glenrothes MSP demands Tories’ drop Universal Credit cuts
Published date : 18 Aug 2021
Poll shows majority of Scots oppose Tory cuts to Universal Credit
Mid Fife and Glenrothes MSP, Jenny Gilruth, has said that Tory cuts to Universal Credit must not go ahead to protect our poorest communities.
The MSP’s comments follow a poll by YouGov, which showed two-thirds of people in Scotland are opposed to the Tory UK government plans to cut Universal Credit in October.
In the poll, 35% of people supported the £20 uplift being maintained until the country’s financial position was ‘more stable’. 28% of people asked wanted the uplift to be made permanent.
Citizens Advice Scotland, who commissioned the polling, said cutting support would mean Universal Credit’s real terms value would drop to a lower rate than when it was introduced in 2013.
Commenting, Mid Fife and Glenrothes MSP, Jenny Gilruth said:
“This poll clearly demonstrates that Scotland is overwhelmingly opposed to the Tory UK Government plans to cut Universal Credit.
“The impact of these cuts, potentially plunging 20,000 children in Scotland in poverty, are extremely concerning, especially during the pandemic. The £20 uplift has been a vital lifeline for many families in my constituency and across Scotland and this YouGov poll reflects this.
“Not everyone in Fife had the same starting point at the beginning of the pandemic. Covid has been layered upon the impact of Tory austerity – a double whammy for some of our poorest communities. That’s discounting the harm that Brexit has already caused Scottish businesses – and whilst the real economic fallout is yet to be felt, it will be those with least who feel it most.
“This planned Tory cut to Universal Credit means the UK Government is once again pursuing a path of austerity, at the worst possible time, and must not go ahead.
“This again demonstrates how Scotland is living a tale of two governments, the one in Edinburgh that is building a social security system built on fairness, dignity and respect. Whereas the one in London is prepared to plunge thousands of families and children into poverty despite the majority of people in Scotland wanting to keep the uplift in place.
“We cannot trust the Tories to protect the future of the people of Scotland and that is why we cannot put Scotland’s recovery into the hands of the Tories. Scotland must have a choice over its own future in a referendum for recovery.”
David Redpath, CEO at Citizens Advice and Rights Fife added:
“Given the economic impact of the pandemic will be felt for a number of years, the move to remove the £20 uplift is likely to cause huge concerns for individuals and families across the whole of Fife. This may cause an associated rise in the demand for services like ours whilst also taking much needed money out of the local economy. The benefits to maintaining this payment far outweigh the detrimental impact that could be caused by its removal.”
The latest Official Statistics for households on Universal Credit produced by the Department for Work and Pensions showed there were 26,375 households in Fife on Universal Credit in May 2021. Full details can be found here: https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/jsf/tableView/tableView.xhtml
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