Campaigners are calling for a change under Universal Credit, that sees young parents paid less than they did under the previous system, to be reversed.

Under the ‘legacy system’ under 25s who were parents were paid at the ‘adult’ over 25 rate for benefits including Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support and Employment Support Allowance.

But under Universal Credit it was scrapped meaning people under 25 were paid the lower standard rate whether they had children or not.

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Campaigners, including One Parent Families Scotland, Poverty Alliance and MPs across parties, say this means when they are moved onto Universal Credit, they have a cut of 20%, or around £60, a month to cope with.

The say the majority of those affected are women and are single parents.

Sixty MPs and more than 100 charities and academics have signed a letter to Therese Coffey, Work and Pensions Secretary asking for it to be changed back.

Glasgow Times:

They include Child Poverty Action Group, Save the Children UK, Barnardos, Gingerbread, Turn2Us, and One Parent Families Scotland.

The letter states: “Whether under or over 25, single parents have a high percentage of their household income taken up by caring for a child as they are both the sole breadwinner and carer for their family. The Government’s decision not to extend this support can only therefore be seen as a Young Parent Penalty.

“There is no reason to treat single parent families differently based on age” and that “the current welfare system makes it harder for younger single parents to access the appropriate level of support”.

One Parent Families Scotland cited a young mother, Olivia from Glasgow as an example of someone who loses out.

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She was moved to universal credit from Jobseker's Allowance because her circumstances changed when she took over a tenancy from her mother.

Olivia, said: "I used to be on Jobseeker’s Allowance, which was a bit more money than Universal Credit, so I was losing out on money on that, and because I’m under 25 I’d be getting even less money.

"I don’t understand how someone over 25 gets more for being in the same situation that I am. I’m a single parent as much as a 25-year-old is a single parent, we both need to buy the same things."

I go to a group with One Parent Families Scotland and there were a few girls that were also under 25 on Jobseeker’s and I was like 'how are you getting more than me for being in the same situation?' It doesn’t make sense at all."

David Linden, Glasgow East SNP MP, work and pensions spokesman, backs the campaign.

Glasgow Times:

He said: “It is vital that young parents are treated the same as any other single parent family.

“I am supporting the One Parent Families Scotland campaign to end the Young Parent Penalty and ensure that the 175,000 single parents under the age of 25 are able to access the support they need.

“Now more than ever, as we recover from a pandemic, families across Scotland should be adequately supported.”

Glasgow Times:

The DWP Universal Credit rates are: If you are single and under 25 you receive £344 a month in. If you are 25 and over it is £411.51 a month.

For couples, both under 25, it is a total of £490.60 a month for both and if one or both is 25 or over, it is £596.58 per month

For those with children there is additional support at first child is paid at £282.50 per month if born before April 6 2017 and £237.08 if born on or after April 6 2017.

A UK Government spokesperson said: “Parents on Universal Credit receive child benefit in addition to their standard allowance and can claim up to 85% of childcare costs, which is more generous than the legacy system.

"The devolved Scottish Government also has significant welfare powers of its own and can top-up existing benefits.”