The Scottish Parliament has voted overwhelming to support cancelling the UK Conservative Government’s planned £20 cut to Universal Credit next month. Following the vote, Siobhian Brown condemned the Scottish Conservatives for backing the cut which will rip more than £1,000 from 9073 families in South Ayrshire.
The pressure for the Conservative Government to scrap their plans has been building up for several months. The Scottish Government has written to the UK Government on eight occasions throughout the pandemic asking for them to make the uplift permanent and to extend it to legacy benefits, and hundreds of anti-poverty campaigners, human rights experts, cross-party committees and the devolved Governments have all urged the UK Government to keep the lifeline. The Conservatives’ planned cut has also faced opposition from their own colleagues in Westminster - including former Scottish Conservative leader, Ruth Davidson and six former DWP Secretary of States. This is on top of the four Cross Party Social Security committees of the devolved Parliaments. However, the current elected Scottish Conservatives are choosing to defend the biggest welfare reduction since the 1930s. Commenting SNP MSP Siobhian Brown for Ayr said: “The Scottish Parliament overwhelmingly spoke and demanded the UK Conservative Government halt their plans to scrap the uplift to Universal Credit. Sadly, we also witnessed every single Conservative MSP failing to stand up to their Westminster bosses in opposing the £20 a week cut – the biggest welfare cut since the 1930s. “I was proud to stand up for the 9073 households across South Ayrshire, along with the other elected members for the area and send a strong message to the Conservatives at Westminster that we reject their plans to rip more than £1,000 a year out of the hands of the most vulnerable at a time when they need it most. “I am quite frankly shocked, but not surprised, that the Scottish Conservative MSPs not only voted to back the Universal Credit cut which will condemn thousands of families to poverty, but actively defended it. “History will remember them for this - Scottish Conservative MSPS are letting down thousands of families and children by supporting this callous cut in favour of propping up their chums in the UK government who are imposing these policies on the people of Scotland. “This demonstrates once again how the people of Scotland cannot afford to continue to suffer under Westminster control. We need to have the option of choosing a different path in a referendum which can give us the full powers of independence where we can build a fairer Scotland.”