Gordon MP Richard Thomson has reacted with horror to research published today (Thursday) by the respected Joseph Rowntree Foundation that 4460 (11%) of working age families in the constituency will be impacted by the planned £20 cut to the incomes of families on Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit by the UK Tory Government. Of those working-age families affected, an estimated 2390 of them have children.
Overall, the research shows that 413 constituencies will see over a third of working-age families with children impacted. On average 21% of all working-age families (with or without children) in Scotland, England and Wales will experience a £1,040-a-year cut to their incomes.
Scheduled for 6 October, this will be the biggest overnight cut to the basic rate of social security since the foundation of the modern welfare state and will impact around 5½ million families.
Commenting, Gordon MP Richard Thomson said:
“These figures are horrific and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation – a highly-respected independent organisation working to solve poverty – has done a great service in drilling-down through the statistics to bring us the reality of the human aspects to these cuts.
“Even in the North-east where there is a perception that we are one of the ‘better-off’ areas, it is a damning indictment of this Tory UK Government’s policies that many families still cannot make ends meet even when they have a job. The Chancellor must cancel the planned cuts and instead make the £20 Universal Credit uplift permanent and extend it to legacy benefits. Beyond that, he must bring in a Real Living Wage to ensure that work really does pay.
“In-work poverty has been rising under the Tories and is one of the main drivers behind food insecurity. It is time Tory ministers heeded the many warnings about the impact the Universal Credit crunch will have - including the fact that the planned cut risks wiping out the positive impact the Scottish Child Payment has on families.
"If the Chancellor goes ahead with these further brutal austerity cuts, it will be another example of the SNP Government putting money in people's pockets just for the Tories to take it away again.
“Neither the Tories nor Labour can be trusted to stand up for families in Scotland. Just this week Labour failed to commit to reversing Universal Credit cuts if in power and we are still reeling from a decade of Tory austerity cuts. Independence is the only way we can truly secure a strong and equal recovery for Scotland.”