The Scottish Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to support cancelling the Tory UK Government’s planned £20 cut to Universal Credit next month. Following the vote, Renfrewshire South MSP Tom Arthur, condemned the Scottish Tories for backing the cut which will rip over £1,000 from 17,132 families in Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire.

The pressure for the Tory Government to scrap their plans has been building up for a number of 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. 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 Tory’s planned cut has also faced opposition from their own Conservative colleagues in Westminster – including former Scottish Tory leader, Ruth Davidson and six former Tory DWP Secretaries of State. 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 Tom Arthur for Renfrewshire South said:

“Today the Scottish Parliament overwhelmingly spoke and demanded  the Tory UK Government halts their plans to scrap the uplift to Universal Credit. Sadly, we also witnessed every single Tory 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 17,132 households across Renfrewshire & East Renfrewshire and send a strong message to the Tories at Westminster that we reject its 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 Tory MSPs not only voted to back the Universal Credit cut which will condemn thousands of families to poverty, but actively defended it – the Nasty Party is well and truly back.

“History will remember them for this – Scottish Tory MSPs are letting down thousands of families and children by supporting this callous cut in favour of propping up their Tory 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.”

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