COVID-19: LEGACY BENEFITS

The SNP has called for the unfair disparity between the UK government’s benefits system to be resolved with a cash boost given to people claiming ‘legacy’ benefits such as Job Seekers Allowance and Employment Support Allowance.

The Chancellor recently announced the Universal Credit standard allowance and the Working Tax Credit basic element will increase above the planned annual uprating. However, this uplift does not apply to people on legacy benefits. Those who will not receive this increase are those on Job Seekers Allowance (JSA), Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and Income Support (IS), and also those affected by the benefit cap.

It’s clear that the UK Government must do more to plug the gaps in support which are placing people in financial hardship due to the coronavirus crisis. There now exists an unfair disparity between claimants on the old and new systems, which could leave those claiming ‘legacy benefits’ facing financial challenges, especially after several years of a benefit freeze introduced by the Tories.

It’s vital that the UK government seriously considers the concerning effects of this two-tier system – and provides an equivalent uplift to those claiming legacy benefits.

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