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Scots may lose £100 per month due to UC cuts, rising bills

written by Bella Palmer
rising-bills

Research by the impartial House of Commons Library estimates that households face an average increase of £11.96 in fuel bills per month, with food bills increasing by at least £1.36

The poorest Scots stand to lose £100 per month due to Universal Credit (UC) cuts and rising household bills, research shows.

The UK Government is moving ahead with a decision to end the £20 per week uplift for benefit claimants despite dire warnings it will plunge thousands of people into poverty.

Research by the impartial House of Commons Library estimates that households face an average increase of £11.96 in fuel bills per month, with food bills increasing by at least £1.36.

It comes as UK Labour leader Keir Starmer attacked Boris Johnson for "putting up tax on small businesses and slashing Universal Credit".

He told the party conference in Brighton yesterday: We have a fuel crisis, a pay crisis, a goods crisis and a cost of living crisis - all at the same time.

An overwhelming majority of MSPs backed a motion at Holyrood this week calling on Tory ministers to reverse the Universal Credit cut.

But the vote is unlikely to sway Westminster with key benefits powers reserved to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

SNP MSP Neil Gray said: This is the biggest overnight cut to social security in 70 years and 60,000 people in Scotland, including 20,000 children, will be plunged into poverty because of it. While the increase in the costs of heating and eating are a major issue, the Tory decision to hack away the £20 uplift from the poorest households is a catastrophe of an entirely different magnitude.

What the UK Government is doing is both reckless and immoral. It is making a conscious and unnecessary choice to filch £460 million a year out of local economies here in Scotland.

Gray added: The Tory Government could borrow more to keep the payment, or bring in a windfall tax, a digital services tax, increase corporation tax, capital gains tax or inheritance tax.

To so many hard-up families, £100 is an absolute fortune and the difference between scraping by or going under. It is not too late to prevent this outrage and I urge the Tories to reconsider this deeply immoral decision, he said.

A UK Government spokesman said: The uplift to Universal Credit was always temporary, to help people through the economic shock of the toughest stages of the pandemic.

It’s right that the Government should focus on helping people back into work and supporting those already employed to progress and earn more, he said.

He said: We’re also protecting energy consumers, which is why the Energy Price Cap will remain in place, and we are supporting vulnerable and low-income households further through initiatives such as the Warm Home Discount, Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments.

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