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Cruel Universal Credit Cuts Slammed

Only independence can deliver a progressive recovery for Scotland.

The SNP has reiterated their stance that the UK government must U-turn on the “cruel” plans to cut Universal Credit this autumn.

Speaking in front of the Work and Pensions Committee this morning, Therese Coffey MP confirmed that the UK government, from late September, will “phase out” the £20-a-week Universal Credit uplift, and will not extend it to legacy benefits despite calls from numerous anti-poverty charities.

The SNP Work and Pensions spokesperson, David Linden MP, has slammed the decision, urging Boris Johnson to reconsider or face “monumental consequences”.

A report from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), published in May, found the UK’s relative poverty rate among working households had reached a century peak of 17.4% – with one in six working households now languishing in poverty.

Commenting, the MP for Glasgow East said:

“It is becoming increasingly clear that this UK government are being driven by dates – not data – when it comes to cutting Universal Credit.

“Despite numerous reports from leading anti-poverty organisations like the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Trussell Trust, who have urged the UK government to make the uplift permanent and extend to legacy benefits, we are yet to see any progress.

“We know that by making the uplift permanent, we could prevent as many as 700,000 people – of which 300,000 are children and 60,000 live in Scotland – from being plunged into poverty, yet these cruel cuts remain on the table.

“In contrast, the SNP Scottish Government are introducing policies such as the Scottish Child Payment which puts money into people’s pockets – not out of them.

“Scotland continues to be extremely vulnerable under Westminster control.

“It is clear that the only way to keep Scotland safe from the long-term damage of Tory cuts is to become an independent country with the full powers needed to build a strong, fair and progressive country.”