For immediate release:


Rutherglen MSP Clare Haughey has criticised the UK government’s budget which was announced last week (22nd November). The Chancellor of the Exchequer’s speech to the House of Commons unveiled new measures and policies, however Ms Haughey said that the budget was only noticeable for “what was not included”.

Commenting, Clare Haughey MSP said:

“Last week’s budget falls short for my constituents in Rutherglen. Rather than creating a budget for people and prosperity, the UK Government buries its head in the sand as Brexit bites.

“The budget will be remembered for what was not included. There was no end to austerity which has caused untold damage to people across the UK; there was no scrapping of the two-child cap and the abhorrent rape clause; and there was no reversing of the cuts to disability support.

“I do welcome the decision to scrap the VAT on Scotland’s police and fire services, however it is farcical that the UK Government have failed to reimburse the £140 million already paid by our emergency services.”

The Chancellor Philip Hammond bowed to mounting pressure when he announced changes to the Government’s flagship Universal Credit welfare scheme, with the wait for the initial payment cut from six to five weeks. Speaking in the Commons, Mr Hammond said he had put aside £1.5bn to cut this wait for payments and make it easier for claimants to receive an advance.

Ms Haughey added:

“The damaging and destructive Universal Credit system should have been halted and fixed, and the Chancellor’s announcement simply does not go far enough. The full roll-out of Universal Credit in Rutherglen and Cambuslang began only last month – however the problems it has caused my constituents has been appalling.

“Many people are waiting over a month for their first payment causing them to fall behind with their bills and rent. South Lanarkshire Council previously announced that 87 per cent of Universal Credit tenants were struggling to pay for housing, so this is clearly a system which is broken and it must be rectified as a matter of urgency.

“This was a budget for the super-rich which will do very little for my constituents in Rutherglen.”



Published: 28th November 2017

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