Martin Docherty-Hughes MP speaking in the House of Commons (June 2021)

SNP MP Martin Docherty-Hughes has slammed the UK government over its decision to press ahead with ‘callous’ cuts to Universal Credit which he says will hit thousands of hard-pressed families in West Dunbartonshire.

The local MP hit out this week after Tory Work & Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey confirmed to Parliament that the £20 per week increase to Universal Credit will start to be phased out from late September.

Numerous anti-poverty charities have called for an urgent rethink by Tory Ministers; citing concerns that cutting Universal Credit by £1,040 per year will lead to soaring child poverty rates.

Citizens Advice Scotland has warned that the UK government’s plans to reduce Universal Credit payments will have a detrimental economic impact, and push thousands of Scots families into financial crisis.

Close to half a million households in Scotland are currently in receipt of Universal Credit, with almost 10,000 people in West Dunbartonshire set to be hit by the £20 per week cut.

Martin Docherty-Hughes MP said:

“For the Tories to cut £1,000 per year from the household budgets of the poorest families in West Dunbartonshire is unconscionable.

“Losing £20 per week may not seem like much to Boris Johnson, but for many of my constituents it’s the difference between putting a decent meal on the table.

“If the UK government pushes ahead with these callous cuts to Universal Credit it will needlessly push tens of thousands of Scottish families further into poverty.

“Westminster is failing our communities and it’s clearer than ever that Scotland needs full control over our own social security system and the powers of a normal independent country.”