The SNP has launched a campaign urging the UK government to maintain the £20 Universal Credit uplift and extend it to legacy benefits, instead of axing it in October as planned.
Research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has highlighted that slashing the uplift will plunge half a million more people into poverty – 200,000 of which are children – as well as “knock out” the benefits the Scottish Child Payment brings to low income families in Scotland.
The campaign, led by the SNP’s Work and Pensions spokesperson and Glasgow MP, David Linden (pictured), is the culmination of long-standing calls from the SNP for the UK government to make the uplift permanent and extend it to those on legacy benefits – of which a disproportionate amount live with disabilities or a long-term illness.
Six former Tory Work and Pensions Secretaries, as well as the Northern Research Group , which is made up of 50 Tory MPs, have also recently echoed the SNP’s calls to keep the uplift.
Commenting, the SNP’s Work and Pensions spokesperson, David Linden MP:
“The £20 uplift has been a lifeline for millions – and is currently preventing half a million families from falling over the edge into poverty.
“It would be truly devastating for our society if the Tory government ploughed ahead with plans it knows will push hundreds of thousands households – including 200,000 children – over the brink at a time they need support most.
“The pandemic is not over, and the economic impact of it will be felt for years to come if the Tories at Westminster do not take the necessary steps to rebuild the social security system they’ve spent the last decade dismantling.
“It is now vital they make the Universal Credit uplift a permanent fixture and extend it to legacy benefits.
“Tory ministers must listen to the many voices that have warned about the impact the Universal Credit crunch will have – including the fact that the planned cut risks wiping out the positive impact the Scottish Child Payment has on families.
“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.
“Alongside SNP colleagues, I will be using this campaign to remind the UK government daily of the devastating impact their plans will have if they go ahead.”