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I am urging the UK Government to maintain the £20 Universal Credit uplift and extend it to legacy benefits, instead of axing it in October as planned.

I have concerns about the upcoming Universal Credit cut, which is set to come in at the same time as furlough ends and energy prices rise. The planned cuts will see the incomes of six million people - over 400,000 in Scotland - slashed by £1040 overnight.

The Trussell Trust’s 2021 State of Hunger report revealed that last year over two fifths of households referred to a food bank were in receipt of Universal Credit, and according to Child Poverty Action Group, 72% of children in families struggling to afford food have at least one parent who works.

Now research from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has found that in Glenrothes and Central Fife nearly half – 49% - of working age families with children will be affected by the cut to Universal Credit, and 10,140 working age families in the constituency will be impacted. Local MP Peter Grant is calling on the Chancellor to U-turn on the cuts that will put half a million more people below the poverty line.

The Tories’ planned cuts to Universal Credit will not only plunge half a million people into poverty - 200,000 of which are children - but it will betray the 180,000 odd people in Scotland in employment who rely on the payment to get by.

I’ve heard from constituents concerned about making ends meet with over £1000 less to live on each month, even when they are in work.

In-work poverty has been rising under the Tory Government’s watch and is one of the main drivers behind food insecurity. It is a damning indictment of this Government that many families are still struggling even when they have a job. Rishi Sunak must U-turn on the cuts and instead make the £20 Universal Credit uplift permanent and extend it to legacy benefits like ESA and JSA.

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