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Home  >  News  >  Church Leaders Urge Universal Credit Cut Rethink

News

Church Leaders Urge Universal Credit Cut Rethink

Wednesday September 29 2021

Over 150 church leaders have called for next month's planned £20 cut in Universal Credit to be stopped. 

The Moderator of the General Assembly, Lord Wallace of Tankerness, and around 20 Church of Scotland ministers are among the signatories to a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson which describes the proposed cut as ‘the single biggest overnight reduction in the basic rate of social security since the welfare state was established in the 1940s’.

The letter has been written in partnership with Church Action on Poverty and Christians Against Poverty (CAP) Scotland, ahead of Challenge Poverty Week (October 4-10). It adds: “We urge the Government to choose to build a just and compassionate social security system that our whole society can have confidence in.”

CAP Scotland National Director Emma Jackson said: “Right now, hundreds of thousands of Scottish families are at a cliff edge. They are staring over at what looks like an exceptionally difficult winter with higher food and fuel prices coming at exactly the same time as the cut to Universal Credit. There is going to be less money for essential items and people will be pushed into debt. What lies ahead is going to hit people hard and cause untold mental and physical damage. 

“But we still have a choice, there’s a moment to do something different. We have the opportunity to bring income security to people and bring them away from that cliff edge.

“Our message is clear - keep the Universal Credit uplift and bring people to a place of safety. We will continue to fight injustice and stand together with those affected by this cut, churches and other charities, calling for this vital lifeline to be kept.”

Niall Cooper, Director of Church Action on Poverty, said: “Cutting £1,040 a year from low-income households would cut hundreds of thousands of families adrift. It’s simply not right.

“With food and fuel costs rising sharply, we know millions of families are struggling to stay afloat, and this £20 a week cut will make a difficult situation disastrous. We should be pulling together to get the economy back on course, but instead people are having to watch the threadbare lifelines being cut.

“The breadth of support for this letter reflects the wider public’s desire for a just and compassionate economy. We need to redesign the social security system so it brings stability and opens up opportunities, rather than sweeping families into deeper poverty.”


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