UPRATE BENEFITS TO SUPPORT 15,000 LOCAL FAMILIES, SAYS LOCAL MSP

For immediate release:

UPRATE BENEFITS TO SUPPORT 15,000 LOCAL FAMILIES, SAYS LOCAL MSP

Almost 15,000 local households are set to face a real terms cut to their benefits if the UK Government does not uprate them in line with inflation.

Energy bills and the cost of everyday items like food are soaring yet the rate of benefits, such as Universal Credit, has not kept pace – meaning people have less money in their pockets than before.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has published new analysis which shows the number of UK households that are liable to be affected.

In the Rutherglen Westminster constituency, which includes both Rutherglen and Cambuslang, 13,075 households are in receipt of such benefits – totalling 28 percent of local families.

21 percent of working-age families in Liz Truss’ own constituency will be impacted too.

Rutherglen MSP Clare Haughey has urged the Tory government to act.

Commenting, Ms Haughey said:

“These findings from the JRF show the extent of the callous actions of the Conservatives, who amidst a brutal cost-of-living crisis, are set to impose the largest permanent benefits cut ever made in a single year.

“As ever, the Westminster system punishes the most vulnerable Scots whilst the rich get richer.

“Earlier this year the Scottish Government uprated eight devolved benefits to support people as the cost of energy and food began to rise.

“The Tory government must now uprate reserved benefits in line with inflation – as if they do not, millions more will fall below, or further below, the poverty line.”

Katie Schmuecker, JRF Principal Policy Adviser, added:

“Politicians should think long and hard about the impact of withholding hundreds of pounds from thousands of families in their constituencies when the basic rate of benefits is already at its lowest in real terms for 40 years and prices are sky-high.

“We know millions of families have already gone without the essentials this year, missing meals, not cooking hot food or having hot showers. We know people have gone into arrears on their bills or taking on debt to pay for the basics.

“It is unconscionable that the government should be considering cutting their ability to pay for what they need.

“The majority of people agree the right thing to do is help the most vulnerable during this extraordinary crisis. The impact will be felt across every constituency in the UK.”

ENDS