Cunninghame North SNP Candidate Kenneth Gibson has warned that 8,614 North Ayrshire households in receipt of Universal Credit will have £20 slashed per week from their income at the end of September, rolling back a much-needed top-up brought in to provide a lifeline during the pandemic.
Despite repeated calls by the SNP to make the uplift permanent, extend it to legacy benefits and make Universal Credit more flexible and responsive to people’s needs, the Tories are determined to impose this cut. In North Ayrshire alone, this will cost recipients of Universal Credit - two thirds of whom are in low-paid employment - £8,959,000 in total, according to the Scottish Government report ‘Impact of Withdrawing Emergency Benefit Measures.’
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has said that millions of households across the UK will each lose £1,040 a year when the uplift is scrapped, resulting in 500,000 more people being driven further into poverty.
Kenneth Gibson said:
“Only a few months from now, 8,614 North Ayrshire households - many with children - will lose £20 per week at a time when they need support the most. That's a lot of money when struggling to pay bills and buy food.
“In stark contrast, although 85% of benefit powers are reserved to Westminster, the SNP Government has worked hard to support struggling families, by introducing the Scottish Child Payment, which it will double from £10 to £20 each week if re-elected on Thursday.
“The SNP Government has also invested over 100 million each year mitigating the worst impacts of Tory welfare cuts. However, as the United Nations Special Rapporteur said, ‘mitigation comes at a price, and is not sustainable.’ Unfortunately, Labour won’t join us in calling for full devolution of social security to Scotland. They prefer to let our benefit system remain in Tory hands.
“Since the partial devolution of social security, the SNP Government has administered 10 benefits, seven of which are new and unique to Scotland. We would be in a much stronger position to tackle poverty and inequality if Scotland had full control.
“Only a re-elected SNP Government will continue to build a benefits system that is kind, caring and compassionate.
“To return an SNP Government and secure a referendum, help us elect both the constituency and List MSPs we need, make it #BothVotesSNP.”
The SNP Government’s report, Impact of Withdrawing Emergency Benefit Measures, can be read here.