One in three families with children in Lothian set to lose £1,040 a year in Universal Credit cut

More than one in three families with children in most of Lothian will lose £1,040 per year if the planned cut to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit goes ahead in October.

Thursday, 26th August 2021, 4:55 am

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And MPs and MSPs from all parties are being urged to step up pressure on the UK Government to halt the £20-a-week reduction amid warnings of “devastating” consequences.

The independent Joseph Rowntree Foundation used official data released last week to produce a breakdown of which UK parliamentary constituencies will be most affected by the cut which is scheduled for October 6.

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Millions of low-income families will lose £1,040 a year

In Lothian, the worst-affected constituency is Edinburgh East, where 38 per cent of families with children are on Universal Credit or Working Tax Credit, meaning 3,470 families will suffer the cut.

In East Lothian, 36 per cent of families with children receive the benefits, meaning 4,450 will be affected, while in Midlothian 4,060 families with children – 35 per cent – will lose money and in Linlithgow & East Falkirk, 5,230 families with children – also 35 per cent – will be hit.

In Edinburgh North & Leith, 3,450 families with children – 34 per cent – will be caught by the cut and in Livingston it’s a similar proportion – or 4,870 families with children.

The figures for Edinburgh South-West are 3,200 families with children or 31 per cent; for Edinburgh West 2,830 families or 25 per cent; and for Edinburgh South 2,100 families or 23 per cent.

In Glasgow, there are three constituencies where over half of all families with children will be impacted, the worst being Glasgow Central where 63 per cent will suffer the cut.

Across the whole of the UK, 413 constituencies will see more than half the families with children hit by the benefit reduction. The worst-affected constituency is Bradford West where 82 per cent of families with children will be affected.

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Chris Birt, deputy director for Scotland at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: “In just over a month, in the face of widespread opposition, the UK Government plans to impose the biggest overnight cut to the basic rate of social security since the Second World War. Cutting Universal Credit will have deep and devastating consequences for a huge number of families with children across Scotland.

“Child poverty was already rising before Covid-19; it is a scandal that the UK Government’s strategy for economic recovery is to plunge families who are already struggling into deeper poverty and debt.

"Now is the time for MPs and MSPs of all stripes to step up and oppose this cut to their constituents’ incomes. It’s not too late for the Prime Minister and Chancellor to change course and reverse this decision.”

“While the responsibility for this devastating cut lies with the UK Government, it highlights the urgent need for the full roll-out and doubling of the Scottish Child Payment to support families with children in Scotland.”

According to the analysis, around 452,000 families across Scotland, with or without children, or 19 per cent of all working-age families, will experience this cut to their income.

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