New figures published showing plans to remove the £20 uplift in Universal Credit by the UK Government will have a detrimental effect on many people across the Almond constituency.
Latest statistics show that in November 2020 there were 15,675 people claiming Universal Credit in West Lothian in November 2020. If all these people remain on Universal Credit until April, then they will be affected by the removal of the £20 uplift.
The Scottish Government has repeatedly called on the Westminster Tory government to maintain the £20 boost to Universal Credit and extend it to legacy benefits.
Anti-poverty think-tank the Resolution Foundation estimates that the cut to Universal Credit by £20 a week could see the incomes of low-income families fall by more than four per cent (4%) and plunge a further 820,000 children into poverty across the UK.
Angela Constance MSP said:
“By slashing social security payments by £1000 a year, in the middle of an economic crisis, the UK Government could push 15,765 people here in West Lothian further into hardship and poverty.
"There must be an immediate U-turn on this, to avoid worsening poverty and inequality across the country during the Covid-19 crisis.
"Although the Scottish government has led the way in tackling poverty, with new benefits like the Scottish Child Payment and a social security system based on dignity and respect, this progress is being severely undermined by cuts from Westminster.
“It is crucial that the £20 uplift to Universal Credit is made permanent and extended to legacy benefits, as part of a wider package to boost incomes after a decade of damaging austerity cuts.
"Scotland shouldn't have to wait for Westminster to act to protect the incomes of the most vulnerable in our society. The only way to secure a strong, fair and equal recovery is for Scotland to become an independent country - with the full powers needed to build a fairer society."
November 2020 (p)
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