Responding to Boris Johnson’s comments that the UK government will push ahead with the Universal Credit cuts, the SNP’s Depute Westminster Leader, Kirsten Oswald MP, said:
“It is truly heartbreaking to hear that Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak are still planning on pushing ahead with the Universal Credit cuts even though they know it will plunge half a million more people into poverty – 200,000 of which are children.
“The £20 increase has been a lifeline for millions of families and households across Scotland and the UK – to take that away at a time they need support most would be devastating, and it would cancel out the benefits the Scottish Child Payment is currently delivering for low income families in Scotland.
“Instead of imposing further austerity cuts, the Tory government must make the uplift permanent and extend it to legacy benefits.
“My SNP colleague David Linden launched a campaign just this week urging the UK government to do just this and we will continue to push for this because it is the right thing to do.
“People do not deserve to have vital support yanked away from them when they are still reeling from the triple whammy of Brexit, the pandemic and a decade of Tory austerity.
“Putting money in people’s pockets will only benefit the economy and it is beyond time that those on legacy benefits received the same amount of support as those on Universal Credit.
“The Prime Minister talks of ‘making work pay’ but we know that 40% – two million – of those on Universal Credit are in work.
“His rhetoric will continue to be hollow until his government finally brings in a Real Living Wage.
“If they go ahead with these further brutal austerity cuts, it will be another example of the SNP government putting money in people’s pockets just for the Tories to take it away again.
“Westminster stands in the way of our efforts to pull people out of poverty – independence is the only way we can truly secure a strong and equal recovery for Scotland.”