FAMILIES in Glasgow will suffer the most in Scotland from the looming cut to Universal Credit, fresh figures have found.

More than half of all of those living with children in the Glasgow Central, Glasgow South West and Glasgow North East constituencies will become impacted by the “brutal” £20 deduction. 

The research, conducted by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, revealed that Glasgow Central will become the worst-hit area - with 63% of families set to become out of pocket. 

The move - described as “devastating" by city politicians - will come into effect on October 6.

Glasgow Times: Ricky BellRicky Bell

Glasgow City Treasurer, Cllr Ricky Bell, said: “This is the reality of Boris’s Britain. More brutal cuts to our hardest-pressed and most vulnerable families - and again it’s Glasgow taking the brunt.

“Across Scotland, we’re spending many millions mitigating the continuing damage caused by Tory austerity. But there’s only so much we can do. We’re running to stand still and this undermines our efforts to lift the poorest out of poverty.

“Whatever their deflection tactics, Glasgow’s Tory boys cannot and must not be allowed to hide from the consequences of this latest brutal cut. This is their party, their policies, their devastation. They own this.”

Glasgow Times: Malcolm CunningMalcolm Cunning

Glasgow Labour group leader, Malcolm Cunning, added: “These figures from the Rowntree Foundation highlight just how devastating this cut will be.

“This shameful move by the Tories will hit the most vulnerable and cause untold damage to communities and families in Glasgow.

“We have a huge challenge ahead of us to tackle poverty as we recover from Covid, which is why the UK Government must urgently think again and drop these disgraceful plans.

“Labour has pledged to reduce the taper rate of Universal Credit to allow low-income workers in every part of the UK to keep more of the money they earn.

“But we can start by taking immediate action here in Scotland using Holyrood’s powers to double the Scottish Child Payment and work towards a Minimum Income Guarantee.”

The £20 weekly uplift for those claiming the benefit was introduced last March at the start of the pandemic, however Chancellor Rishi Sunak stressed it was “intended to be a temporary measure” to help those struggling in lockdown. 

Of the other Glasgow constituencies to suffer from the blow, 55% of families in the South West and 54% of families in the North East will take a hit from the cut. 

Chris Birt, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s deputy director for Scotland, said: “In just over a month, in the face of widespread opposition, the UK Government plans to impose the biggest overnight cut to the basic rate of social security since the Second World War.

"Cutting Universal Credit will have deep and devastating consequences for a huge number of families with children across Scotland.

“Child poverty was already rising before Covid-19.

“It is a scandal that the UK Government’s strategy for economic recovery is to plunge families who are already struggling into deeper poverty and debt. 

“Now is the time for MPs and MSPs of all stripes to step up and oppose this cut to their constituents’ incomes. It’s not too late for the Prime Minister and Chancellor to change course and reverse this decision.”

“While the responsibility for this devastating cut lies with the UK Government, it highlights the urgent need for the full roll-out and doubling of the Scottish Child Payment to support families with children in Scotland.”

According to the analysis, around 19% of all working-age families across Scotland will experience this cut to their income, which is around 452,000 families. 

The temporary uplift to Universal Credit was designed to help claimants through the economic shock and financial disruption of the toughest stages of the pandemic, and it has done so.

A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “Universal Credit will continue to provide a vital safety net and with record vacancies available, alongside the successful vaccination rollout, it’s right that we now focus on our Plan for Jobs, helping claimants to increase their earnings by boosting their skills and getting into work, progressing in work or increasing their hours.

“The Scottish Parliament has significant welfare powers and can top-up existing benefits, pay discretionary payments and create entirely new benefits in areas of devolved responsibility.”