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Saturday, September 23, 2023

UK Support for Those in Lowest Incomes Six Times Lower Than European Neighbours

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Independence will be the only way to protect people in Scotland on the lowest incomes as UK support fell even further behind our European neighbours following the callous Tory cuts to Universal Credit.

New stats from the Mutual Information System on Social Protection (MISSOC) show that as a percentage of previous incomes, the UK’s support for those out-of-work and in-work is just a fraction of the system offered in European nations that are a similar size to Scotland.

Before the cut to Universal Credit, the UK only offered support of 18% of the average previous salary.

With the cut, that figure has fallen further to 14%. Compared to support elsewhere it is a measly figure as Denmark and Sweden provide the unemployed with 90% and 80% of previous salaries respectively.

The SNP has said that with the full powers over welfare, employment rights and wages then an independent Scotland would have the opportunity to protect those on the lowest incomes and lift them out of in-work poverty.

Commenting, SNP MSP Neil Gray (pictured) said:

“The callous Tory cuts to Universal Credit means UK unemployment benefits that are already painfully low are now devastatingly even further behind our European neighbours.

“Similarly sized countries as Scotland, such as Denmark and Sweden, are able to provide a real safety net for its citizens by providing a system that is around 80% or 90% of previous earnings.

“If they can do it, then so can an independent Scotland.

“The measly system offered under Westminster control is motivated by cuts and the bottom line of the Chancellor’s audit sheet, not by the needs of the people who need the system to feed their children and heat their homes.

“Under Westminster control we cannot protect those in Scotland on the lowest incomes.

“The Scottish Government continues to do what it can but has one hand tied behind its back with the majority of welfare powers still held by the UK government.

“With full powers over welfare and employment that independence would bring we could lift people who are in-work out of it too by paying them a real living wage.

“The only way we can protect the future of everyone in Scotland is by becoming an independent country and use the full powers that would bring.”

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