Threat to families across constituency if £20 a week Tory cuts go ahead
Brendan O’Hara MP has urged the UK government to U-turn on the “devastating” Tory cuts to Universal Credit – as new analysis shows over 6,000 people in Argyll & Bute could see their incomes slashed by £1040 per year from October.
Analysis from the House of Commons Library, using the latest DWP data, has revealed that almost half a million (477,996) people in Scotland could be hit by the cut – at a total cost to Scottish families of around £430million a year.
Of those, 6,099 live in Argyll & Bute – representing 11.7% of the constituency’s adult population aged 16 to 65.
The overwhelming majority of Scottish MPs voted in the House of Commons to stop the Universal Credit cuts, but the Tory government plans to impose them anyway. The SNP has urged the UK government to think again in light of the energy bills crisis and impeding hike in National Insurance contributions – and make the £20 a week uplift permanent as well as extending it to legacy benefits including Jobseekers Allowance, Income Support and Working Tax Credits.
Commenting, Argyll & Bute MP Brendan O’Hara said:
“It’s crucial that the UK government scraps the devastating Universal Credit cuts, which could slash the incomes of almost half a million Scottish families by £1040 from October.
“At a time when energy bills and the cost of living are soaring, it would be unthinkable for the Tory government to go ahead with cuts that would decimate the incomes of around 6,126 local families across Argyll & Bute.
“The UK is already suffering from a growing Tory poverty crisis, with the worst levels of poverty and inequality of any country in north west Europe – and the highest levels of in-work poverty this century as a direct result of Tory cuts, tax hikes and the cost of Brexit.
“I am urging the Chancellor to U-turn on these Tory cuts, and instead make the £20 Universal Credit weekly uplift permanent and extend it to legacy benefits – as part of a wider package of measures to protect household incomes. £20 a week may not be much to a wealthy Tory MP, but to so many families the loss of £80 a month is very worrying indeed. It’s the money that can be used for food, heating and particularly in rural areas of Argyll & Bute, fuel. Access to your own transport is vital to so many people for education, employment and social interaction.
“I will continue to press the UK government to reverse these damaging cuts but ultimately it is clear the only way to keep Scotland safe from Tory cuts is to become an independent country, with the full powers needed to build a strong, fair and equal recovery.”