Pressure is mounting on the UK Government to enhance the job support scheme and make the £20 uplift to Universal Credit payments permanent – after a new report revealed that almost half of workers in Scotland had their pay cut due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the report, IPPR Scotland urges the Tories to make the temporary increase to Universal Credit permanent and recommends that they remove the benefit cap and two-child limit, described as “the most pernicious parts of the UK-wide benefit system […] which were wrong even in the pre-pandemic context.”
The think tank also says the UK government must “enhance its job support scheme to avoid needless unemployment” and warns that “if the UK government is unwilling to act, it must ensure the Scottish government can do so.”
SNP MSP Shona Robison (pictured) said:
“Far too many people across the UK are living with the constant threat of unemployment and poverty, with the coronavirus crisis only exacerbating the financial challenges facing families.
“The Scottish Government is doing everything it can to support families and mitigate Westminster cuts, but there’s only so much we can do with limited powers.
“As this new report makes clear, if the UK government is unwilling to act, it must ensure the Scottish Government can.
“By withholding crucial funding and blocking the devolution of financial powers, this Tory government is threatening the future of Scottish jobs and businesses.
“Now is the moment to help those who are struggling to stay afloat through no fault of their own – not cut them adrift.
“If the Tories fail to act, we could see long-lasting damage for generations to come.”