The SNP has said the Tories have “completely blown apart” their empty rhetoric on levelling up by ploughing ahead with plans to cut Universal Credit by £1040 for six million families.
Following a BBC Breakfast interview, in which Rishi Sunak confirmed the Tory cuts would be imposed in September, Ian Blackford MP said “it is now clear beyond all doubt that the Tories have absolutely no intention of building a fair recovery.
“The only way to keep Scotland safe from Tory cuts and secure a fair recovery is to become an independent country.”
The SNP Westminster Leader repeated his calls for the Chancellor to publish an urgent impact assessment of the effect the planned Tory cuts to Universal Credit will have on household incomes and levels of poverty and inequality – warning the cuts will “reverse crucial progress being made in Scotland to tackle poverty and send the UK full steam towards a Tory poverty crisis this winter.”
A report from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), published in May, found the UK’s relative poverty rate among working households has hit a record high this century of 17.4 per cent – with one in six working households now languishing in poverty on Boris Johnson’s watch.
Separately, the Children’s Commissioner for Scotland has warned Tory plans to cut Universal Credit by £20 a week would be “catastrophic” for families and would: “effectively knock out the benefits that the Scottish Child Payment brings”.
Commenting, SNP Westminster Leader Ian Blackford MP said:
“Rishi Sunak’s devastating cuts to Universal Credit have completely blown apart the empty Tory rhetoric on levelling up.
“It is now clear beyond all doubt that the Tories have absolutely no intention of building a fair recovery.
“The only way to keep Scotland safe from Tory cuts and secure a fair recovery is to become an independent country.
“By slashing the incomes of six million families, the Chancellor will reverse crucial progress being made in Scotland to tackle poverty and send the UK full steam towards a Tory poverty crisis this winter.
“A decade of Tory austerity cuts has already resulted in record levels of inequality – with one in six working families now languishing in poverty.
“These cuts will cement inequality, and effectively cancel out the benefits of progressive SNP government measures like the Scottish Child Payment.
“While the SNP government is putting money in people’s pockets, the Tories are taking it away again – dragging our efforts to tackle poverty backwards.
“It speaks volumes that they are refusing to publish an impact assessment for these cuts.
“Scotland is increasingly vulnerable under Westminster control. Independence is essential if we are to secure a strong, fair and equal recovery and eradicate poverty for good.”