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Children's charity issue stark warning over Universal Credit cut

By Alan Beresford

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THE £20-a-week cut to Universal Credit (UC) will impact a child in Scotland every seven seconds over the next month, a children's charity has warned.

Claire Telfer, Save the Children’s Head of Scotland.
Claire Telfer, Save the Children’s Head of Scotland.

Between now and early November, over 360,000 families from nearly 250,000 households in Scotland who are in receipt of UC will see their payments reduced by £87 a month or £1040 a year.

Over 103,000 families in Scotland with children on UC have a child of primary school age or younger. Research shows that 20,000 more children in Scotland will be pushed into poverty as a result of the cut.

Save the children has joined with other charities to try and persuade the UK government to reverse its stance on the withdrawal of the UC uplift.

Claire Telfer, the charity’s Head of Scotland said: "The UK government’s decision to go ahead with this cut will devastate families in Scotland.

"Over the next month, over 360,000 children will be affected with a further 20,000 pushed into poverty.

“People we work with tell us they’ve been relying on this £20 lifeline to buy essentials like food and clothing for themselves and their children. Without it, tens of thousands more children are facing a cold and hungry winter. And we know the impacts of childhood poverty can last a lifetime.

“It’s astonishing that UK government ministers have chosen to inflict the most significant social security cut in memory at the same time that families are grappling with a cost-of-living crisis; Inflation, increases in energy prices, fuel shortages and tax hikes are all taking their toll on family finances. For many, this will be a significant catastrophe of falling income and rising costs. The UK government has a duty to protect families from hardship and not add to it.

“The UK government must change course. In his budget announcement later this month, the chancellor should reinstate the £20 lifeline. Children will be affected immediately by this change as well as throughout the course of their entire childhoods and beyond.”

In Moray, according to government statistics some 4702 households were on UC in May, while in Aberdeenshre the figure was 9982 for the same month.

UC is paid to people in work but on low incomes as well as those who are unemployed.

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