The charity organisation Christians Against Poverty (CAP) has warned that reductions to benefit payments will result in an increase in poverty in Scotland and across the UK.
Expectations are that the £20 uplift in Universal Credit payments, introduced after the start of the coronavirus crisis, will soon be removed to leave many thousands of households facing significant reductions to their incomes.
According to CAP Scotland, that reduction will be enough to push many low-income Scottish families into poverty.
The warning comes along with a report from the CAP called ‘Shipshape or Sinking Ship?’, which takes a close look at indicators of financial wellbeing and mental health in the UK as the country aims to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The charity has been clear in its insistence that the government should maintain Universal Credit payments at the level they were increased to in 2020.
Emma Jackson, CAP Scotland’s national director, has said that while Covid-19 restrictions have largely been removed, many people are still feeling the impact of the pandemic on their personal finances.
“With all the challenges families across Scotland have been facing, many will be carrying forward the financial impact for years to come in the form of household debt,” she noted in a statement.
“The UK government is planning to make one of the biggest overnight cuts in history, by reducing Universal Credit and Tax Credit claimants’ money by £20 a week and continuing to ignore those on legacy benefits,” she explained.
“The Shipshape or Sinking Ship? report has found that the social security system is already a major driver of deficit budgets and lower wellbeing, and the UK government is about to make the problem so much worse by cutting benefits like Universal Credit.”
According to official figures, there are close to half a million people in Scotland currently claiming Universal Credit, which represents almost a twofold increase since before the pandemic.
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