Wednesday, 07 November 2018 07:48

MP warns residents about the impact of Universal Credit as UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights visits Scotland

Local MP, Brendan O’Hara continues to raise concerns about the impact of Universal Credit across communities in Argyll and Bute following a recent report by The Trussell Trust.

The UK’s biggest foodbank charity has called for urgent changes to Universal Credit, as they warn that foodbank use in Scotland has risen by 15% in five months due to the in-built minimum wait of five weeks for a first payment – with many more people waiting even longer.

The Trussell Trust have also found that when Universal Credit goes live in an area, there is a demonstrable increase in demand for local foodbanks. On average, 12 months after the rollout of Universal Credit, foodbanks see a 52% increase in demand. 

Commenting, Mr O’Hara said, “While the Work and Pensions Secretary, Esther McVey continues to defend Universal Credit, we are witnessing the real impact this benefit is having on our local communities across Scotland.”

“These appalling figures bring into sharp focus, the damning indictment of the UK government cuts to welfare, and the botched rollout of Universal Credit.”

“As these figures show, the five week delay in getting a first payment is pushing people into crisis, and this is just one example of why the roll out of Universal Credit must be halted immediately, so that fundamental flaws can be addressed.”

“Despite overwhelming evidence of the devastating impact this benefit is having on people across Scotland, Esther McVey and her government are hell bent on pursing their flag-ship Universal Credit project. It is frankly insulting and shows just how out-of-touch the UK Government is.”

The Trussell Trust Figures come as the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights is visiting Scotland this week to investigate the impact of austerity and the link between poverty and the realisation of human rights.

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