U-turn needed on welfare cuts

With one week to go until the cut to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit, Lanark and Hamilton East MP Angela Crawley has urged the Chancellor to U-turn on the decision to prevent 800,000 people from being pushed into poverty.

From next week, claimants will lose the £20 per week Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit uplift brought in at the height of the coronavirus lockdowns in March 2020 to help people through the crisis.

However, with the cost of living rising following the UK government’s reckless decision to take Britain out of the European single market during a pandemic, hard-working people are set to lose more than £1,000 a year when they can least afford it.

In August 2021, 9,024 people in Lanark and Hamilton East were claiming Universal Credit.

Commenting, Lanark and Hamilton East MP Angela Crawley said:

“Almost 1 million people will be plunged into poverty – including many in Lanark and Hamilton East – and children will pay the price if the Chancellor does not U-turn on these cuts.

“Children in low income families in Lanark and Hamilton East will suffer as the cut will undermine the Scottish Child Payment brought in by the Scottish Government to tackle child poverty. This callous cut will drag our efforts backwards.

“The economy, as we try to recover, will also pay the price if this cut goes ahead. We know that putting money in people’s pockets stimulates the economy, and we need that right now.

“On top of this, if low income families lose the extra £20 a week uplift they have come to rely on as energy prices rise, furlough ends, and the regressive National Insurance hike comes into play, it will be third sector organisations left, yet again, to pick up the pieces. Child welfare services will cost more down the line and food banks will struggle even more to cope.

“There are so many reasons and so much evidence as to why this cut must not go ahead – the Chancellor must finally wake up to this. We have seen some cruel decisions from the Tories over the years but going ahead with this cut, knowing what they know, at this time, will be the nastiest thing they have done in recent times.

“People are already severely struggling – the UK government must not hang them out to dry. They have one week to do the right thing and keep the £20 lifeline.”