close-up photo of assorted coins
Photo by Josh Appel on Unsplash

I was delighted to recently join my colleague Jonathan Reynolds MP on a Co-operative Party call on the need to cancel the cut to Universal Credit.

Not only are the UK Government’s plans to cut the uplift shameful, but the Prime Minister’s comments show just how little he understands reality – this is not a choice between work and social security.

To go ahead with scrapping the Universal Credit uplift while hundreds of thousands of people live in hardship – made worse by the pandemic – is both dangerous and shameful.

Thousands of livelihoods are still on the line and our economy is still subject to restrictions and reeling from the impact of the pandemic.

At this crucial moment, the Government should be doing all it can to support people to stay afloat – not pulling the rug out from under them.

The UK Government must reinstate the uplift before they plunge more people into poverty, and the Scottish Government must get a move on and use the social security powers that it has.

Recently the Joseph Rowntree Foundation produced research on the impact of the proposed cut to Universal Credit.  This research sets out exactly just how devastating this cut will be. We know that this money is used for food and basics like travel to work or school. Taking it back will do untold damage to communities, especially in Glasgow but right across Scotland.

The UK Government must think again and keep the uplift.  I am urging MPs to support Jonathan Reynolds MP and my Labour & Co-operative colleagues at Westminster to tell the Government to cancel the cut.

If they press ahead with this cut it will return social security support to the lowest level in decades and will end once and for all any pretence that they care about a just recovery from the pandemic.

The Scottish Government can’t sit on their hands either. They must urgently use the powers they have here in Scotland to immediately double the Scottish Child Payment with the same again next year and work quickly towards a Minimum Income Guarantee