Glenrothes MSP raises alarm as extent of Tories’ attack on vulnerable families revealed

Published date : 27 Aug 2021

For immediate release


27 August 2021


Mid Fife and Glenrothes MSP, Jenny Gilruth, has today [Friday 27 August] raised concerns at the alarming number of local families who will be impacted by callous Tory cuts to Universal Credit. 


The MSP has written to Tory Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Rt Hon Thérèse Coffey MP, to condemn the move and implore her to think again after the Joseph Rowntree Foundation published new research, which shows that 5,290 local families with children will be affected by the planned cuts.


The research also shows that Glenrothes will be hit particularly hard by the cuts as 49% of families with children receive Universal Creditor Working Tax Credits as apposed to a Scottish average of 37%.


It means that Glenrothes is the fifth worst affected area in Scotland after Glasgow Central, Glasgow South West, Glasgow North East and Glasgow East.


This new analysis by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation follows a poll by YouGov last week, which showed two-thirds of people in Scotland are opposed to the Tories’ plans to cut Universal Credit in October.


Following the YouGov poll, Ms Gilruth called on the Tories to drop their plans and said the £20 uplift has been a vital lifeline for many local families. 


The cuts to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit will see the income of thousands of families in Mid Fife and Glenrothes reduced by as much as £1,040 per year.


Responding to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s analysis, Jenny Gilruth MSP said:


“The Tory government’s plans to cut Universal Credit are nothing short of a callous and calculated move to burden some of our most vulnerable families and children with the cost of recovery from the Covid pandemic. 


“The £20 uplift has been a vital lifeline for many families in my constituency and now we know the alarming extent of the harm the Tories’ cuts will have locally: 5,290 families with children will have their income cut.


“The plans mean that the UK Government is once again pursuing a path of austerity, at the worst possible time, and I have implored the Secretary of State to think again.

“We cannot trust the Tories to protect the future of the people Scotland as they undermine our attempts to build a social security system build on fairness dignity and respect. Scotland must have a choice over its own future in a referendum for recovery.”


The Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s Deputy Director for Scotland, Chris Birt, has described the situation as a “scandal that the UK Government’s strategy for economic recovery is to plunge families who are already struggling deeper into poverty and debt”. 


The Chief Executive of Citizens Advice and Rights Fife, David Redpath, has explained that the move to remove the £20 uplift “is likely to cause huge concerns for individuals and families across the whole of Fife” and believes “the benefits to maintaining the payment far outweigh the detrimental impact that could be caused by its removal”.







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