Thousands in Glasgow could sink further into poverty after Universal Credit cut

Thousands of people in Glasgow could end up further in poverty due to the planned Universal Credit cut.

What’s happening? More than 72,000 people in Glasgow could sink into further poverty as a result of the planned Universal Credit cut of £20 a week from October. The £20 universal credit increase was introduced last year in response to the pandemic. It is to be taken away from families next month under plans by the UK Government.

Why it matters: In Glasgow North East, an area of the city which already has high levels of poverty, 11,738 residents would see their income slashed by £1040 annually.

The numbers likely to be impacted across other city parliamentary areas stand at 11,674 residents in Glasgow East, 13,206 in Glasgow Central and 11,444 in Glasgow South West, according to DWP data.

There could be 6,862 residents affected in Glasgow North, 8,517 in Glasgow South and 9,306 in Glasgow North West.

SNP Glasgow North East MP Anne McLaughlin said half of all families with kids in her constituency would be hit.

Ms McLaughlin said: “It is crucial that the UK government scraps the devastating Tory Universal Credit cuts, which could slash the incomes of almost half a million Scottish families by £1040 from October.

“At a time when energy bills and the cost of living are soaring, it would be unthinkable for the Tory government to go ahead with cuts that would decimate the incomes of around 50 per cent of local families with children in Glasgow North East.

“For a lot of people, especially those making these decisions, the difference of £20 a week is negligible, it doesn’t even register. However, for those already struggling on Universal Credit this is literally the difference between having food on the table or gas in the meter.

“The hike in National Insurance, massive increase in fuel prices and now this callous cut in universal credit is going to have a catastrophic impact on people in Glasgow North East and across the country.”

Ms McLaughlin added: “I am urging the Chancellor to U-turn on these Tory cuts, and instead make the £20 Universal Credit uplift permanent and extend it to legacy benefits – as part of a wider package of measures to protect household incomes.

“There are two pantries and numerous food banks across my constituency that are busier than ever and about to be hit with food shortages as they are needed most and while the resilience and determination of these community organisations is inspiring it will be no substitute for money in the pockets of those most in need.

“This is an attack on the dignity of individuals who deserve support rather than the rug being pulled out from under them after the most difficult 18 months most of us will ever face.”

SNP, Labour, Lib Dems and some Conservative MPs want the universal credit top-up to remain in place.